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After Putin, the deluge?

03 Oct 2023 - 14:38
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Foresight on the possible futures of the Russian Federation

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is by now not only existential for Ukraine. It also seems to have become existential for Vladmir Putin’s regime itself, which equates its own security and continuity with Russia’s national security. How the war ends will be an important factor that shapes the future of the Russian Federation. The inverse is also true: whether or not the Russian regime remains stable is also a key factor that determines when and how the war ends. Russia’s future will furthermore shape the broader European security architecture – and vice versa.

To help policymakers prepare for what might lie ahead, this report draws up a model consisting of 35 variables that will together shape Russia’s future – based on an extensive literature review and scenario workshop with Dutch and international experts. It then builds on this model to construct a scenario framework for the next five years. These scenarios take into account (1) to what extent the Russian regime could change or persist, (2) to what extent this would be accompanied by large-scale instability and violence, and (3) to what extent a future Russian government would pursue confrontation or rapprochement with the West. The report then puts forward six scenarios based on these variables and presuppositions

The authors

Bob Deen, Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute

Niels Drost, Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute

Milou Carstens, Research Intern at the Clingendael Institute