Monday, June 12, 2023

Putin’s ‘Destruction of Russian Statehood’ Means the Future will Be Even Worse than the Present, Oreshkin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 9 – Because Vladimir Putin has destroyed Russian statehood, the future of the country will be only worse than the present because none of the real contenders for power believes that he has any resources besides brute force or any constraints on his use of it, Dmitry Oreshkin says.

            The Russian political scientist argues that “the destruction of statehood” under Putin is key to understanding what is coming. “Real statehood is the combination of institutions which act on their own regardless of the people in them.” It includes a wide variety of institutions and Putin has destroyed them all (

            Among these are a constitution, a parliament, the courts, laws, and the very idea that officials must act in accordance with these institutions rather than simply on orders from those above them. That is what is called a state, he says; and it is “more correct” to use the English word “state” than the Russian “gosudarstvo” because the latter is connected with “ruler.”

            “Putin has destroyed statehood and returned the country if one speaks in an academic sense to the rule of a chieftain, to a situation when the chieftain is the source of legislative initiative, executive power as well as being the military leader and the ideological leader,” Oreshekin continues.

            De facto, Putin has already become a chieftain, although he is sufficiently clever not to proclaim this as Stalin did de jure.” But “the state is ceasing to exist in reality and people like Prigozhin [and his ilk] understand perfectly well that all provisions of the constitution can be easily changed and in general can be ignored. This is what Putin has done.”

            And that in turn means that “any of these personages, when it comes to the division of powers will not reflect for a second on what the Constitution allows or prohibits” and they will know that everything will depend on their brute coercive powers relative to others. And that will be the case, however Putin departs the scene.

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