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“Putin is Slipping” – Prof. Robert Service on Putin and Russia’s Future

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Robert Service. Source: hoover

Prof. Robert Service, Siyurce: Hoover, v @Georgia Today, RFE/RL

Robert Service, one of the UK’s foremost Russian History specialists, biographer of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Tsar Nicholas II, and chronicler of Putin’s first 20 years of rule, sat down with Radio Free Europe/RL’s Georgian Service to talk about the force that is Putin.

You write that Russia’s past is like putty in Putin’s hands – he shapes it as is his wont. But what about its future?
Anybody who tells us that they know what the future is, is a fool. Who could have said in 1916 the future of Russia for the next 70 odd years would lie with the communists?

It’s definitely a more brittle future. The very fact that Putin has manipulated the Constitution and distorted the politics and impose extreme authoritarian rule, and personalized it all to such an extreme degree, means that he is exposing himself to the possibility of different methods being used to get rid of him: An explosion of popular discontent or an eruption of elite discontent, both of these are possibilities created by personalizing his dominance.



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