An article

in the American Foreign Affairs magazine warns of the disintegration of Russia and the stimulation of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine for this disintegration process, saying that Russia is a fragile state and its disintegration could lead to more violence that will affect international security


An article in the magazine - written by Marilyn Laruelle, a historian and French political scientist specializing in Eurasian affairs - called on Western policy makers not to fall into the trap of confusing the radical statements of political exiles from Russia with the opinions of Russian citizens, saying that it would be wrong to assume that minorities in the country would automatically help in Create a Russia more in line with Western standards, making it clear that the ethnic minorities there are no more inclined towards democracy, human rights, "good" governance, and pro-Western liberalism than the Russian ethnic majority.

At stake is the stability of the Putin regime

The author began her article by saying that at a time when Putin is doubling his war in Ukraine, the stability of his regime is at stake, noting that some observers predicted the possibility of his overthrow, while others expressed hope for the country's disintegration.

Russia's geography makes its coherence elusive, she said.

It spans 11 time zones, is the largest country in the world in terms of land mass, and 20% of its population is not of Russian origin but belongs to local indigenous peoples, while Moscow was named the third most prosperous city in the world - by the UN-Habitat for its index City boom A few weeks before the start of the war in Ukraine - much of the Siberian subcontinent is poor and sparsely populated.

Farther north, the declining extractive-industrial cities predominate.

In the Far East, the population is more economically linked to China, Japan and South Korea than to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Under Putin's leadership, power has been tightly centralized in Moscow and the political and cultural autonomy of the provinces has been curtailed.

Long history of using carrots and sticks

The writer said that Russia has a long history of leaders who used a mixture of carrots and sticks to preserve the unification of the country's remote regions, as the tsars granted cultural independence to some occupied countries, while others were violently forced to integrate.

The Soviet regime followed the same playbook, sometimes celebrating national identities, and sometimes deporting and punishing people deemed disloyal to the Soviet project.

She added that the war in Ukraine may lead to an increase in calls for greater autonomy from Moscow, as the military mobilization last September generated a violent reaction in areas with large numbers of ethnic minorities, from which recruits already suffered from high infection rates.

Even the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, who presents himself as Putin's loyal foot soldier, halted mobilization in Chechnya before leaders in other regions, and declared that his republic had already fulfilled its quota.

In Dagestan a similar declaration was made.

She also indicated that some Western observers not only speculated about Russia's collapse, but also instigated it, and saw in it a solution to Moscow's international behavior.

She said disintegration would not solve the "Russia problem" in the West, and that any positive future for Russia and its neighbors like Ukraine, as well as for the rest of the world, would require the country to reinvent its federalism from within, rather than imploding.