Saturday, February 10, 2024

Putin So Resembles Ivan the Terrible that Russia will Again Pass Through a Time of Troubles when He Leaves the Scene, Chernyshov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 5 – Vladimir Putin and his policies so resemble Ivan the Terrible and his that after the current Kremlin leader passes from the scene, Russia is likely to pass through yet another time of troubles and then emerge, only to repeat again the historical path that Russia trod earlier, according to Sergey Chernyshov.

            The Siberian historian who lost his positions when he was declared a foreign agent says that Putin is remarkably like Grozny both in terms of his biography and the trajectory he has followed in public life and with regard to his approach to rule (

            According to Chernyshov, “Ivan the Terrible left in his wake statehood institutions in ruins, dozens of unexplained deaths, personal control of profitable exports, local conflicts across the outskirts of the country, an extremely personalistic regime of power, and an economy bled dry by military adventures and the greedy state oligarchy.”

            Putin will do exactly the same and so what was called the Time of Troubles after Ivan will be repeated. There will be again a power vacuum, and the succession will go first to members of the current elites who are able to make deals with the rebels and then present themselves as saviors of the population.

            But this process will not be smooth or quick as “it will take some time to restore the destroyed state institutions” that could hold the state together. The original Time of Troubles lasted two decades, and there is little reason to think that the one now looming will last any less, despite all the resources of modernity.

            At the end of this process, some new leader will emerge by promising to restore order and open a window on Europe. But the birthmarks on this system that will come from the new Time of Troubles will almost certainly lead to another recapitulation of the same pattern Russia has conformed to over the last four centuries.


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