Putin era is coming to an end and both he and other Russians recognize that, Moscow sociologist says

Vladimir Putin at a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2013 (Image: Alexander Petrosyan)

Vladimir Putin at a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2013 (Image: Alexander Petrosyan) 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

On March 1, 1953, Radio Liberty began broadcasting to the Soviet Union in Russian. Its Russian employees wanted its signature sound to be a ticking clock with a voiceover declaring “The Stalin era is coming to an end.” American managers demurred, citing the fact that people from the Caucasus – and Stalin was a Georgian – often lived to a great age.

Four days later, it was confirmed that Stalin was dead. Now, many are on another kind of “death watch,” wondering when the era of Vladimir Putin will come to an end. Most analysts predict that he will continue in office as long as he wants and that therefore at a minimum it is premature to speak of the approaching end of the Putin “era.”

Sergey Belanovsky

Sergey Belanovsky

But Moscow sociologist Sergey Belanovsky doesn’t agree and argued on his Facebook page last week that “the Putin era is coming to an end” and that “this is an incontrovertible fact which doesn’t depend on how much longer he occupies the position of president.

In addition to that bold assertion, the scholar made 16 additional assertions that merit close attention:

  • “To criticize Putin for what he is guilty of or for what he isn’t no longer makes any sense.”
  • “There is no sense in discussion problems of yesterday or even today. One must look to the future.
  • “The struggle for the place of successor has now begun.”
  • “Putin’s legitimacy will fall independently from what percent he wins in the elections.”
  • “Even if Putin keeps his post until 2024, he ever more will be transformed into a lame duck. His power will weaken.”
  • “The successor whoever he is will not have Putin’s legitimacy.”
  • “Putin will be forgiven for what he is guilty of and for what he isn’t.”
  • As for the successor, “there won’t be anything to forgive.”
  • The country’s problems “will require unpopular decisions.”
  • “The lowering of the legitimacy of the leader will weaken state power.”
  • “The weakening of power will intensify conflicts at all levels” and require “the suppression but no the ideological destruction” of nationality conflicts.
  • “Suppression by force of ALL conflicts is impossible.”
  • “The country will begin to fall apart, possibly taking the form of ‘a parade of sovereignties’ and also meetings on squares in front of administration buildings and the blocking of roads.”
  • “Control over the media will collapse because clarity about which political line is correct will be lost.”
  • “External forces, having felt the weakening of the internal bindings of the Russian state will become more active. Too many will view Russia as an enemy or as a trophy to be won.”
  • Putinist methods of opposing all this will “weaken. Their time has passed. The new ruler will have to apply force and diplomacy in some unique combinations and under conditions of an institutional vacuum.” That will require a political genius, not one of whom appears to be on the horizon.

Yesterday, in an interview with Radio Liberty’s Russian service, Belanovsky expanded on these points, argued that Putin understands the thrust of them and certainly will leave in 2024, a fact that only adds to his looming status as a lame duck because ever more people will be looking beyond him.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Tony

    russia, 1917-2017, no progress, still poor, still authoritarian, still going from one revolution to the next. Maybe try something new eh? like democracy & rule of law.

    • svend lykkegaard

      There I see a proplem. Russians dont know the meaning of democracy and rule of law. Just read the Russian Trolls.

      • veth

        In Russian minds Russia is a democracy, every 5 years they choose a new, but mostly the same dictator…………….

        • Mick Servian

          well you know nothing about history
          and you believe in this fairytale utopia called democracy?
          of course not, u care about cash

          • MichaelA

            Of course we believe in democracy, because we know it works. Whereas Russian concepts fail.

          • Mick Servian

            what exactly works in democracy? please explain.
            Is that why the Romans, arguably the finest political system regurlarly chose dictators in times of turmoil?
            OH, what about the Athenians? It seems to me the Spartan why of governance proved more reliable.
            You know nothing about it. As long as the loans keep coming in, you’ll play make believe

      • Mick Servian

        Nah, a racist likes you knows better…lol

        • Eddy Verhaeghe

          And your arguments are?

          • Mick Servian

            what argument?
            the US has proven that might makes right around the world.
            my argument is that everyone can follow suit now.
            as for the article, that’s just crappy bs

    • veth
      • Mick Servian

        Ukraine is about to be split up

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          Dream on, old eunuch. Won’t happen. Dwarfstan, on the other hand, WILL split up thanks to the insane policies of your Lord and Master Pedo Putolini. Peking will happily take over the lost territories- it already controls many parts of them economically. Just be grateful if Peking doesn’t add more to its want list. Dai-Nippon will take back the Kuriles and Sakhalin which Stalin stole in 1945. Finland wil get back what Stalin stole in 1940- Karelia including Viipuri and the other lost territories. Kadyrov wil form his Caliphate with Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia. Germany will get Königsberg back. Be grateful if you don’t lose more- Siberia may well tell Muscovy to get lost.

          Königsberg wird wieder deutsch!

          • Mick Servian

            wieder deutsch?
            ne denke ich nicht.
            ich weiss du liebst die Nazis so wie deine fasistische familie.
            BUT, you are just living a spiteful little wet dream because you have a complex and are a racist turd.
            you were sayin this crap 2 years ago

          • MichaelA

            Your German is garbage – using google translate?
            What he wrote is the truth
            Russia is headed for break up

          • Mick Servian

            echt, du schwulle sau?
            du denkst ich brauche google translate???lol
            nah buddy, unlike you i speak several languages. and speak both english and german better than you.
            because im educated, und du und deine idiotische familie wohnt im keller…lol
            ive given you my argument, you just cant answer, big no no where u work.
            Fur Amerika ist es egal welches land die bombardiert und was sie mit gewalt mitnehmen.

          • Mick Servian

            so everyone strong enough to do so should do so as well , for balance.
            Simple argument
            pity your country not only can’t take shit.
            but you also have no balls to defend that’s why you’re traitors.
            You watch heaps of tv, think frey’s or boltons.lol
            that’s your countries role in the world

        • Kruton

          #Bolshevik nutjob

          • Mick Servian

            that’s all u have retard, insults?
            pathetic

          • MichaelA

            It’s all you had
            You haven’t written a single thing of substance

          • Mick Servian

            like you have?
            u pretend to be some racist nostradamus, year after year ranting the same bs

        • Kruton

          Russia will become a crappy version of Sweden,lol!

          • Mick Servian

            hahaha
            in your deluded dreams. Go back put on your tin foil hat.
            you have a complex
            just like the irish do over England, just like Croatia does over Serbia, just like many other smaller useless countries do
            you’re no different

        • MichaelA

          Sure
          Morons like you have been saying that for years
          You will still be saying it in ten years time after Russia has broken up

    • zorbatheturk

      Very few third world countries have any semblance of democracy. I have been to dozens of them and most inhabitants expect nothing better. They usually get paid a few bucks to vote for some shiny kleptocrat. The top guy is either an ex-General or a slimy member of a kleptocratic political elite that has run the place for generations and owns everything worth owning. Nevertheless life goes on in all these places.

    • Murf

      Now that Tony, is just plain crazy talk.
      Master or Slave.
      The Master does what he will.
      The slave figures how to live with it.

    • Mick Servian

      You talk like u know nothing of modern nation states.
      You speak of democracy???
      Here’s a question for u ?
      We in the west accept that the government withholds important subjects from us the populace. It’s above our paygrade right?
      What are we voting on then?
      Fool
      Stop spreading this utopia that doesn’t exist.

      • MichaelA

        You aren’t in the west so don’t pretend
        You know nothing about the west

        • Mick Servian

          of course im in the west…..ask me something retard?
          i don’t lie to morons, no use

    • Mick Servian

      explain how democracy works in the western world?
      im eager to see your understanding of it…lol

      • MichaelA

        So you are so ignorant you do not know?
        You went to school in Russia, didn’t you

        • Mick Servian

          right answering question with question, lol
          i asked you to explain? but that’s too much to ask….lol
          oh and no. i went to a school 200 metres from the beach cretin

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    Unlike Ukrainians and most other East Europeans, the vast majority of Russians have always viewed themselves as predators (despite the irony that most are sheep in wolves’ clothing) and as predators an alpha leader has almost always been a prerequisite to maintain dominance, power and stability. However, when their source of sustenance wears thin (in the current context, a result of sanctions, low oil prices, civic and ethnic unrest) then the wolves will turn and devour those that are deemed as the weakest or the most vulnerable in the pack (Putin?). Then the process continues or will it? In any case, most of Russia’s younger generation should soon become aware that globalization and positive interaction with their neighbors and trading partners are the only ways forward to establish both immediate and future prosperity. As to how long this might take and whether this would include internal democracy and basic human rights may prove to be an entirely different question.

    • Mick Servian

      are u listening to your retarded racist self?

      • MichaelA

        You can’t answe him, can you

        • Mick Servian

          hahahahah
          all africans and jews and chinese have always viewed themselves as predators(some as aliens,lol) these nationalities must always maintain dominance, it’ a prerequisite for the evil alphas.lol
          hahahah
          except being in flamingoes in honeybadgers clothing, the africans will run out of fried chicken, the chinese dumplings, for the jews no kosher meals.
          soon we will reprogram them through some bombings and propaganda
          If only we could find some other country to fight for us, maybe the cowboys, but were eaqually chicken shit

  • veth

    So, the Russians will forgive Putin his wars abroad and downing of MH17, Beslan, North Ost theater, Moscowflatbombings……………..political murders (many)….well, their relatives not.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      By and large Dwarfstanians WILL forgive the demented dwarf his wars, Beslan, Nord-Ost, MH17 etc because they fully approved of his actions and still do. Opinion polls (for what they are worth in Dwarfstan) still give him an over 80% approval rating, despite the consequences of his wars and other actions having a negative effect on their lives. One wonders why the dwarf even bothers to rig the votes as even without the vote rigging he will win the next election handsomely. And he will hang on to power until he is buried near the Kremlin wall; he won’t depart in 2024 unless he is dead.
      Of course, by then Dwarfstan will probably be well on the way to breaking up, a process that was inevitable in any case but which the dwarf’s insane policies has accelerated rather than slowed.

      • veth

        The only good thing of Putlers heritage, 30 small MaloRussian countries…………..

      • veth

        The Kerch Bridge will have one function in a few years, the return of the Russian troops to Russia.after Putler is gone. My 2 cents.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          They will, of course depart without their weapons and other equipment. And after that it will be blown up, if an earthquake or shoddy workmanship (tufta, anyone?) hasn’t demolished it first.

          • veth

            50 RUSSIAN TANKS RETURNING FROM THE CRIMEAN OCCUPATION………………END OF STORY FOR THE KERCH BRIDGE……..

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Source?

          • veth

            SPEAKING METAFORICALLY

  • Scradje

    Belanovsky sounds whistful; a crypto-kremtroll: ‘“The successor whoever he is will not have Putin’s legitimacy.” What legitimacy? He seized power by blackmailing and threatening Yeltsin and his family. He had a 6% popularity rating, until he started committing mass murder in Chechnya, which enabled his popularity to soar; because the more murderous and evil their leader is, the more his constituency likes it. He found that murdering Georgians and stealing their land made him more popular still and then, meeting no resistance from the west, repeated the process in Ukraine, albeit on a much larger scale. The replacement for this squalid little fascist is unlikely to offer any improvement, but you never know.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The dwarf had only limited success with his Ukrainian venture and it has actually backfired on him- far from kowtowing to Moscow as he expected Kyiv actually defied him. He’s now stuck with a war he can’t win and territories that require huge subsidies to keep afloat (barely): the so-called LNR and DNR and the Crimea. He already had Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia to support, but what can he do with them? Apart from a few irrelevant crackpots such as Kim Jong-un, Mugabe, Ortega, Fidel (now departed), Morales and Maduro nobody recognises them, nobody will invest in them. The dwarf can’t either because the $$$ are fast running out. All they are doing is dragging Dwarfstan further into the quicksand.

      • Mick Servian

        he’ll rip ukraine to bits
        he’s waiting for your tycoon/tyrant to unleash his arsenal so he can go on the defensive and take what he wants
        out of touch with reality you are

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          With what, old eunuch? The demented dwarf has waited far too long, as even Igor Girkin admits. Dwarfstan’s army can no longer defeat the Ukrainian army. He can try, but his losses will be huge. It took his thugs months to seize the terminal building at Donetsk airport and the butcher bill for that measly advance was considerable. If an advance of only a few hundred yards cost Dwarfstan dearly- a batallion of the Northern Fleet Marines was pretty much wiped out and that was just one unit chopped to pieces by the Cyborgs- how many dead and wounded Dwarfstanians do you think trying to occupy all of the Ukraine will cost?

          • Mick Servian

            I don’t know, not much really.
            Russia or what your complex calls “dwarfstan” would obliterate Ukraine in two weeks.
            Only a retard too preoccupied with dwarfish Pedo’s like you would think otherwise.
            Ps. Thinking about paedophiles and dwarfs too much turns your brain to mush, I hope U get some psychiatric help for that.

    • zorbatheturk

      Putin was a loyal gopher for the corrupt Yeltsin gang, especially Yeltsin’s daughter who had stolen vast amounts of state property. He was selected as the successor because of his KGB loyalty. Of course being a nobody power and money had a profound effect on him: it turned him into an evil paranoid little tu rd with the results as you have pointed out. He took advantage of a vacuum in western leadership and preoccupation with euro and GFC issues in 2008 to try to implement his agenda of recreating his beloved USSR.

    • Mick Servian

      yetthe un says georgia started it.
      besides sakashvilli’s changes in curcomstances are suspect. no western politician has that dodgy career path…..

  • veth
    • Dagwood Bumstead

      So much for the demented dwarf’s guarantee that the rights of all Crimean minorities would be respected.

      • veth

        Or the Ukrainian Stateborders………………….and Airspace……………

  • veth

    https://en.censor.net.ua/news/452174/ukraines_army_enlists_120000_contract_soldiers_and_130000_reservists_defense_ministry

    Very good, double their salaries, and 600 tanks more, and 1000 Javelins……………

  • veth

    http://qha.com.ua/en/photo/how-people-decorate-their-yards-in-kyiv/29309/#1

    In Russia they would be arrested for having a ‘own opinion by expression’

  • veth
    • Eddy Verhaeghe

      Destroying a plant that provides your own people with drinking water. You must be as mad as a hatter to do things like that…

  • veth
  • Eolone

    “The country will begin to fall apart, possibly taking the form of ‘a parade of sovereignties’….

    China is ready to take a piece or two.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      China will take a LOT more than a piece or two. Dwarfstan can look forward to losing the territories Aleksandr II stole in 1856 and 1860 at the very least. Dai-Nippon wants the Kuriles back and although they don’t mention it, probably also Sakhalin, stolen like the Kuriles by Stalin in 1945.

      Moscow can consider itself very lucky if that’s all it loses. But it probably won’t be.

      • zorbatheturk

        A RuSSian exile who now lives in Belgium called Andrei Kovalev recently published a book called ” Russia’s Dead End.” This guy’s father was a close aide to Gorbachev and he knows what goes on in the Krumlin pretty well. Anyway, he can see RuSSia splitting into 7 or 8 parts, with Chechnya the first to go, plus Kaliningrad and Leningrad oblasts trying to secede and join the EU, China and Japan taking the Far East, Siberia going into own way, and a new republic happening in the Urals.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          If (or rather when) Chechnya goes it will probably take Dagestan and Ingushetia with it, and form Kadyrov’s Caliphate. The question is, will Kadyrov himself survive without Moscow’s protection? Probably not.
          Kaliningrad will not survive as a ministate and revert to Germany as Königsberg. I don’t see St. Petersburg breaking away, but the former Finnish territories that Stalin stole in 1940/44 could return to Finland.
          Without Siberia’s mineral wealth Moscow won’t survive (it produces nothing of any relevance) and the Centre will do everything possible to prevent a Siberian split using extreme force if necessary, as Yeltsin and the demented dwarf did in Chechnya. The Centre won’t be able to prevent Peking and Tokyo taking over what they want, however.

          • zorbatheturk

            Interesting times ahead.

      • Mick Servian

        hahahaah wet racist turds dream
        lol
        realpolitik much?

        • MichaelA

          You don’t have an answer do you

  • veth
    • zorbatheturk

      No vodka involved?

      • veth

        Also, I geuss

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Not likely. With yet another tourist season down the drain after the lost seasons of 2014, 2015 and 2016, most Crimeans won’t be able to afford vodka. If any firewater was involved, it would have been the cheapest rotgut samogon available. Krokodil can’t be excluded, though.

        • zorbatheturk

          I suspect a RuSSian who is able to afford a car can also stretch to a $3 bottle of vodka…

    • Mick Servian

      aren’t those the cars of the people you care about and weep for?
      besides what do you care, you lost it?
      help us campaign to end the occupation of Kosovo

  • zorbatheturk

    I agree with the point that Russians will forgive the Putin. They forgive everyone, even Stalin. The old Stalin was a Georgian chestnut. Like Hitler was an Austrian. Georgia had the good sense to export Stalin to RuSSia where he was treated like the second coming of Christ. So Putin will be gone in 2024! How wonderful. Can’t wait!

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    In the mean time Ukrainian snipers have to keep blowing those Russian heads off in Eastern Ukraine. Glory to the Heroes.