Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Putin’s Effort to Avoid Becoming a Lame Duck has Made Russia One, Yakovenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 2 – Vladimir Putin has long feared becoming a lame duck, a leader who remains in office but whose date of departure means that his power is ebbing away, Aleksandr Yakovenko says. But his success in that for himself has not been replicated for his country. Instead, because of his policies and approach, he has transformed Russia into a lame duck.

            That tragic transformation, the Yezhednevny zhurnal commentator says, is reflected in the Kremlin leader’s failure to take climate change seriously and his absence at two major international discussions (in Rome and Glasgow) of what the world must do to limit its impact (

            But it also can be seen in that his repressive policies have led tens of thousands of Russian computer experts to work abroad where they are making a contribution to other countries rather than the one of their birth and in that his commitment to a nineteenth century geopolitical model and unwillingness to shift away from carbon fuels.

            When Putin came to power in 2000, only six percent of the world’s energy production came from renewable sources. But now such power production is comparable to that from oil, gas and coal. Unfortunately, Putin remains committed to the latter and criticizes the former, something that means Russia is falling further behind.

            And the longer Putin remains in power as part of his strategy to avoid becoming a lame duck, the more he will ensure that Russia will become one, a state that his successors will have to work ever harder to try to correct and catch up with the rest of the world, Yakovenko suggests.

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