On Geopolitics

Putin Plans for a Russia Without Him

Lauren Goodrich
Senior Eurasia Analyst, Stratfor
Mar 15, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union's World War II victory at Stalingrad, now called Volgograd, on Feb. 2, 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union's World War II victory at Stalingrad, now called Volgograd, on Feb. 2, 2018. Putin is assured an election win on March 18. But his fourth term will bring with it a period of pressing challenges for Russia and Putin's continued rule.

(MAXIM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The predictable re-election of Vladimir Putin on March 18 ushers in an unpredictable fourth term for the long-time Russian president. All but assured a victory, Putin could remain in office through 2024, which would make him the longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin. In the West, Putin is labeled a narcissist, despot and would-be king for holding onto power for 18 years. But rebuilding an empire out of the wreckage of the Soviet Union took time, and now Putin faces a string of pressing challenges that threaten his legacy and the future stability of Russia. Putin's next term will look qualitatively different from his previous terms, as he maneuvers varying chess pieces for Russia's long game....

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