Russia Falls Into Old Habits | Stratfor

“Russia Falls Into Old Habits is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Source: Russia Falls Into Old Habits | Stratfor (“<a href=”https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/russia-falls-old-habits”>Russia Falls Into Old Habits</a> is republished with permission of Stratfor.”).

HAWAII INTELLIGENCE DIGEST, 04 November 2016, 04:55 hrs, UTC.  Post #14.

Accessed on 04 November 2016, 04:55 hrs, UTC.

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Comment:

Intriguing analysis of Russia’s classic “boom to bust” historical and economic cycle.

According to Stratfor, Russia has faced a nearly unsolvable dilemma since its formation as an independent state in the late 1400s.  Namely, Russia must expand to survive, but expansion is unsustainable given its geography and “has historically led to collapse.”  Russia is now in the middle of a three-way cycle that will impact Europe and Asia for  years to come.

According to Stratfor analysts, Russia has exhibited three phases in its historical development:  Collapse, Resurrection, and Fragility.  Each phase has presented Russia with difficult challenges while it tries to protect its borders and consolidate its historic areas of influence.  A history of invaders from Mongols to Nazi Germany has made Russians wary of the west and distrustful of any attempts to diminish its role in Eastern Europe.

Currently, Russian President Vladimir Putin is benefiting from a generally upbeat economy fueled in part by Russian energy reserves, minerals, and manufactured products. While Putin remains a difficult enigma to many leaders, he “has fulfilled his social contract with the Russian public, and, in return, the people liked him.”  But, this support is eroding as the cost of maintaining a strong military presence in Europe, keeping Ukraine weak, and protecting its interests in the Middle East continues to rise.

Stratfor believes that Russia is “highly vulnerable, yet highly aggressive” at the same time–something that has been repeated in Russian history several times with leaders ranging from popular to despotic.  Stratfor analysts say if Putin’s popularity begins to fall, big changes could occur within Russia–not all of which will benefit Europe.


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Russ Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

 

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