Even Defeat In Ukraine Won’t By Itself Lead To Russia’s Disintegration – OpEd. Source: Eurasia Review. follow.it (Paul Goble)

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Even Defeat In Ukraine Won’t By Itself Lead To Russia’s Disintegration – OpEd

Eurasia Review 1 Comment

By Paul Goble

Many commentators are suggesting that if Russia loses its war in Ukraine, the country will disintegrate, Pavel Pryanikov says. But history shows that even a loss in a war by itself won’t lead to that outcome. It will occur only if there are forces within Russia pointing in that direction, and as of now, they aren’t sufficient to cause that outcome.

According to the Russian commentator who founded the Interpreter portal, Russia won’t fall part even if it signs “a partial capitulation” to Ukraine, just as it did not disintegrate after it signed such a treaty with Japan. Now, as then, such a move would shake the country but not cause it by itself to fall apart (business-gazeta.ru/article/578730).

The Putin regime understands this; and one must give it its due, it has “taken the mistakes of its predecessors into account.” Had Gorbachev been more willing to use massive amounts of force, he would have saved the USSR at least for a time, much as Beijing saved the Peoples Republic of China by crushing the Tiananmen protests, Pryanikov says. 

Putin, of course, is more than ready to use massive force; but he also has taken steps so that he is not threatened by four other factors that led to the disintegration of the USSR. First, he has crushed regional elites. Second, he has worked hard to limit any manifestation of nationalism. Third, he has brought the intelligentsia to heel, forcing it to submit or emigate.

And fourth, he has worked hard to ensure that his regime does not face the development that triggered many of the protests at the end of Soviet times. Unlike then, there is now no deficit of consumer goods. If that changed significantly as a result of sanctions and economic difficulties, the situation would. But Putin understands threat and will block such a development.

As a result, Putin and those around him are certain that “in Russia today, everything is fine.” And they have particular reason for confidence in that Putin has surrounded himself with competent cadres. His current prime minister is outstanding, “certainly the best since 2000.” And the civilians he has put in charge are far more confident than those in uniform.

No one should underestimate Putin or say that “he doesn’t understand anything: because he is sitting in his bunker, the commentator continues. Regarding the administration of his regime, “he understands everything and sees that it is precisely civilian forces which are the chief prop of his regime during the special military operation.”

And Putin has one additional advantage. The Americans don’t want to see Russia come apart. They didn’t want the USSR to fall apart either, but now their commitment to the territorial integrity of Russia is even greater. A Russia without a central power and divided into pieces could lead to “loose nukes” and be easy pickings for China.  

All this doesn’t mean that Moscow doesn’t face problems: it does and they are serious. But it is an enormous leap to go from them to apocalyptic conclusions about the disintegration of the Russian Federation, Pryanikov says. Something besides the war in Ukraine will have to occur for that to happen.

One thought on “Even Defeat In Ukraine Won’t By Itself Lead To Russia’s Disintegration – OpEd”

  • PATIAL RC January 4, 2023 at 2:10 pmPermalink A wishful dream of some of the Western commentators ;”If Russia loses the war in Ukraine, the country will disintegrate” but in the same breath they are scared of the fast pouncing Chinese Dragon breathing down their throats.It is now a Catch 22 situation weakening Russia and helping China become stronger in this game who is ready to replace the US exercising power politics across the Globe. Interesting 2023 ahead for the US,Europe-NATO,Russia,China and the world with India leading the G 20.

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