Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2013

Russia XXI: The Logic of Suicide and Rebirth

Lilia Shevtsova

January 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The Russian system is beginning to decay. It cannot sustain the crumbling status quo, nor can it be certain of finding a new incarnation for itself. The only real questions are what stage of decay the system is in, whether the agony of its final demise has already started, and, if so, how long it will last. To be sure, the system still has some resources, if not to revive itself, then to draw out its death, and that survival instinct could take a nasty, even bloody, form.