Friday, June 2, 2023

Prospects for Russia to Democratize or Disintegrate Soon Very Small, Morozov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 1 – Russia’s extreme centralization, the result of Moscow’s reliance on exporting natural resources rather than developing industry, and the elite’s belief that only a centralized system will preserve their wealth means the prospects Russia could undergo a second wave of democratization in this century are “vanishingly small,” Aleksandr Morozov says.

            At the same time, the Prague-based Russian analyst says that the prospects that the country will disintegrate entirely are small as well given that there currently are no regional or  elites who are not closely linked to Moscow (

            That could, of course, change; and there are some regions, like Chechnya, which have some of the preconditions necessary. But even there and elsewhere, “no one at this historical moment thinks about any prospects of an existence separate from Russia.” But the prospects for Russia and the regions will improve if hyper-centralization eases.

            What this means is that Russia most likely will remain a centralized and authoritarian state with “very strong centripetal attitudes, connected with the preservation of the country in its current borders,” attitudes that Morozov says are generally as strong in the regions and republics as they are in Moscow.

            And while some of the periphery may leave during the post-Putin transition, most won’t; and the country will not likely fall into a state of civil war.


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