Putin’s New Russia: Fragile State or Revisionist Power?
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As seen in South Central Review Vol. 35, No. I Spring 2018, published by John Hopkins University Press. The evidence presented in these essays suggests Russia is a declining power, but a well-armed one. A declining, revisionist power, can be as dangerous and destabilizing as a rising power, particularly if it has a large land army, cyber warfare capability, equipped with new advanced conventional weapons, and a nuclear arsenal. For several years now, the Kremlin has boasted publicly that it can incinerate western European countries with its nuclear arsenal, rhetoric which appears to be more inflammatory than during the Cold War. Despite Putin’s short-term tactical victories against a weakened and distracted western alliance, the long-term prospects are not good for Russia, given its internal fragility. Its public services, military power, and economic system rest on an unstable foundation of volatile oil, gas, and mineral revenues, a propaganda machine that grossly distorts external reality for the Russian people, a demographic time-bomb, corrupted institutions which lack legitimacy and resilience, and a corrupt governing elite of Oligarchs who make up Putin’s inner circle.
DepartmentScowcroft Institute of International Affairs
Edited by: Natsios, Andrew S.; Misemer, Sarah M. (2022). Putin’s New Russia: Fragile State or Revisionist Power?. Available electronically from