Thursday, September 22, 2022

Putin System’s Collapse May Not be Territorial Like USSR’s but Feudal like the War of the Roses and Remain Nominally within a Single State, El Murid Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 22 – Many analysts are now talking about what the demise of the Putin regime with many of them suggesting that it will lead as did the demise of the Soviet leadership to the territorial disintegration of the Russian Federation. But that is far from the only possibility, according to Anatoly Nesmiyan who blogs under the screen name El Murid.

            He says that another possibility is that the territory of the current Russian Federation may dissolve into a feudal conflict among various groups, only some territorially based while others are not or it may take assume some other form entirely. But the essence of all these outcomes is the same (

            As the Kremlin’s mishandling of the covid pandemic and now of the war in Ukraine show, El Murid continues, the regime regularly faces a choice of whether to increase repression which saps its resources or change the fundamental approach of the regime including the replacement of its top leader.

            But as it is unwilling to do the latter and as it is rapidly running out of resources to manage at the same or even a higher level of repression, the Russian blogger says, the intervals between crisis points where this choice becomes sharper grow shorter and shorter – and at some point, the system will fall apart, territorially perhaps or some other way possibly.

The coming collapse of the Putin system thus could be but is not necessarily likely to be a relatively simple territorial one like that of the USSR in 1991 or it may be far more complex and bloody and feudal like the War of the Roses in late medieval England -- or it may take some other form as well, Anatoly Nesmiyan, who blogs under the screen name El Murid says.

            But what matters, he says, is that the reasons for this collapse are the same: the system will run out of resources to enforce its will by increased terror or to make the choice to change the model of rule and the senior leadership as well so as to be able to survive with the resources it does have (

            El Murid’s commentary is important because he roots all these outcomes in the choice the regime increasingly has to make with ever fewer resources, precisely the kind of choice the Soviet leadership faced in 1991, and because unlike almost all other analysts, he is open to a collapse that will not correspond precisely to existing or newly formed territorial units.

            Both of these ideas should be kept in mind by all who are now speculating about what a post-Russia future could be like, regardless of whether they favor or oppose the specific outcomes being discussed. As El Murid suggests, the possibilities are far greater than a simple repeat of 1991; and both defenders and opponents of the current system must keep that in mind.


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