Point of View

Late Putin. The end of growth, the end of stability

Late Putin

Text prepared by the Russian Department of OSW under the direction of Marek Menkiszak

Since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin as President in May 2012, the Russian system of power has become increasingly authoritarian, and has evolved towards a model of extremely personalised rule that derives its legitimacy from aggressive decisions in internal and foreign policy, escalates the use of force, and interferes increasingly assertively in the spheres of politics, history, ideology or even public morals.

Putin’s power now rests on charismatic legitimacy to a much greater extent than it did during his first two presidential terms; currently the President is presented not only as an effective leader, but also as the sole guarantor of Russia’s stability and integrity.

After 15 years of Putin’s rule, Russia’s economic model based on revenue from energy resources has exhausted its potential, and the country has no new model that could ensure continued growth for the economy.

The Putinist system of power is starting to show symptoms of agony – it has been unable to generate new development projects, and has been compensating for its ongoing degradation by escalating repression and the use of force. However, this is not equivalent to its imminent collapse.