A Full-Scale Invasion Of Ukraine ‘Would Mean End Of Current Russian Regime’ And Putin Won’t Risk That – OpEd


A massive Russian invasion of Ukraine “would mean the end of today’s Russian regime, and the likelihood of such an outcome is much greater than were the risks of the fall of the House of Romanovs by the Russian Empire’s entrance into World War I,” Vladislav Inozemtsev says.

But Vladimir Putin is “too careful” to take that step both because of the impact of the human losses Russia would suffer as a result and the international isolation and sanctions that such a move would involve, the Russian commentator continues (znak.com/2021-12-25/zhiznesposobna_li_imperiya_putina_i_spasut_li_ee_ot_uchasti_sssr_intervyu_s_inozemcevym).

And while Putin very much wants to join Belarus to Russia, steps in that direction, Inozemtsev argues, will lead to a social explosion in Belarus that “will be much more massive and decisive than the ones in August of last year” concerning the presidential election Alyaksandr Lukashenka stole.

In the course of an extensive interview, Inozemtsev makes a number of other observations about the reasons behind the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the prospects for Russia if it does not cease to be an empire.

Observations Of Inozemtsev

If Stalin’s autonomization plan had been adopted instead of Lenin’s federalist program, “’the divorce’ of Russia with other republics in the early 1990s would have been fuller of conflicts and wars along our borders would have been more numerous. As a result, the territory of Russia would have turned out to be smaller than it is.”

By the 1970s, the Soviet leadership faced the choice of doing nothing or carrying out radical reforms. If it had done the first, it would have lasted longer because while the USSR was ineffective, it was sufficiently strong to hold on.

Mikhail Gorbachev made “two fundamental mistakes.” He assumed that the Soviet Union was “an ordinary state with a legal system.” It wasn’t. And he was “convinced that ‘the nationality question’ did not exist in the USSR. He didn’t even suspect that inter-ethnic conflicts were possible there.”

If Moscow had taken seriously the December 1986 protests in Kazakhstan, it could have moved to decentralize and create a federal system that would have lasted far longer. But the Kremlin didn’t, and five years later the USSR disintegrated.

The Baltic countries could not have been kept within any Soviet Union, but their exit could have been managed in a way that would have limited their influence on the rest of the country. They could have been allowed to become socialist democracies like those in Eastern Europe and then allowed to become genuine ones integrated into the West in 1989.

Separatist threats do exist in the Russian Federation, but they should not be exaggerated. “The normal demands to recognize the official status of national languages and permit instruction in them, to allow the leaders of the subjects to call themselves presidents and so on have nothing to do with separatism.” But opposing them can spark separatism.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “A Full-Scale Invasion Of Ukraine ‘Would Mean End Of Current Russian Regime’ And Putin Won’t Risk That – OpEd

  • February 16, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    Let bygones be just that you can’t t change the past full stop. Putin could not afford to have former states reunification for goodness sake how much land does the man want. He is reportedly worth billions and billions what he has stolen and now he is one of richest men in the world.Putin cannot run an economy any way he is lacking an an inept leader of Russia who seeks to threaten intimidate deceive lie cheat steal murder they say he’s killed umpteen Russian journalists because the had a different view to his. Put in breaks all international laws norms agreements refuses to recognize other justice systems and obviously condones all Russian murders taking place by his hence men in Russia and abroad. They way he has behaved is barbaric committing so many atrocities world wide and going unpunished is a massive crime . The man is obviously deluded and what’s he going to do when Xi Jinping decides it’s time for China to reclaim former terrortories from Russia? Nothing apart from a nuclear attack on China because China have the winning hand , and will decimate Russia if challenged. What will horrid Putin think of annexing then when the boot is on the other foot. Is Putin a power mad maniac? Do bears shit in the woods.


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