Galeev: 3 scenarios for Russia

2 04 2022

Among the more interesting Twitter analysts these days (as I’ve mentioned before) is Kamil Galeev. In a new series of threads, he examines three possible scenarios for Russia’s future.

The first is a North Korean scenario, in which Putin stays in power and all of Russia effectively becomes Donbass, i.e., a “hypermilitarized kleptocracy.” Galeev notes that “Russia has been lowkey drifting to the Donbass state for years. It’s an oil exporter that is running out of cheap oil and wants to stay highly militarised. Thus it must reduce life standards and personal freedoms.”

Signs of the North Korean scenario are readily available: independent media have been squelched, Putin’s popularity ratings have soared, the “secular ancestral cult” of WWII has been ramped up. “Z-war will be glorious, Z-soldiers will be heroes and Russia will feel obliged to take revenge so that their death won’t be in vain.”

The second scenario is an “Imperial Reboot,” featuring a replacement for Putin, with perhaps a “softer,” more liberal face, but no real change in direction or in institutional culture. At least from the viewpoint of Ukrainians and other colonized or formerly colonized people, nothing will have changed. “Metropoly always portrays a colony as flawed and in need of intervention by the metropoly.” The problem, Galeev writes, “is not in Putin. Neither it is in Navalny,” whose nationalist credentials have been unwavering. “The problem is in imperial structure of Russia and in its imperialist mindset. Any ideology be it Orthodoxy, Communism, Liberalism will be weaponised by the metropoly to dominate and discipline its colonies.”

The third scenario, and the only desirable one from Galeev’s perspective, is the “National Divorce,” an imperial break-up that would follow “the same patterns as the one in Latin America.” It would begin with Russia’s Far East. How that could proceed is something I’m eager to see; alas, the thread isn’t posted yet.




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