The Russian Menace? Putin's Foreign Policy

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

Vladimir Putin, the handpicked successor of Boris Yeltsin, has been effectively running Russia since 1999, maintaining his position on the basis of an interminable succession of states of emergency, justified on the pretext of terrorist threats and foreign wars. As one Russian socialist has noted, “External and internal threats, as well as artificially created ‘historic events,’ are connected to an increasing concentration of resources, which generates ever-new possibilities for the extraction and redistribution of rent, and the, albeit temporary, illusion of solidarity among the ruling elite.” How far he can go in this balancing act, attempting to re-establish, albeit on a weaker footing, Russia’s international standing as strategic world power, while Russia’s oil-based economy becomes increasingly vulnerable to crisis, is an open question.

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