Vladimir Putin, President of Russia speaks during the Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at The Konstantin Palace on July 25, 2015 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
(DENNIS GROMBKOWSKI/Getty Images)
A quick scan of the press, social media and even some scholarly literature reveals significant discussion regarding the prospects for instability on the horizon for Russia. The general theory usually goes something like this: The dramatic drop in world oil prices, coupled with Western economic sanctions in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, will cause enough economic and social unrest in Russia to become a threat to President Vladimir Putin's government. But while it is tempting to predict the beginning of the end for Putin, these theories all suffer from the same problem: They analyze Putin, the Kremlin and events in Russia from an overly Western perspective....
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