All of the sudden, the transition of power in Russia has begun. In his annual state of the nation speech on Jan. 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised many by proposing constitutional changes that would redistribute power within the Russian government, giving more authority to positions Putin might himself take over when his presidential term expires in 2024.
It’s not that the idea of tinkering with Russia’s highest law was so shocking. After all, it was widely expected that Putin would find a way to extend his time in power beyond 2024. Instead, it was the timing of his announcement—four years before he has to step down—that caught people off guard. Yet by making the announcement now, Putin is avoiding succession pressures that could have built up over the course of the next several years and possibly triggered protests. Already, elite infighting was intensifying as individuals jockeyed for influence amid the uncertainty over Putin’s future. Moreover, the public’s discontent with the Russian economy, which has grown in recent years, is unlikely to abate. It could even worsen given Russia’s stagnant economic outlook.
Read the full article in Foreign Policy.
More from CNAS
PodcastMacron and France's National Security Policy with Benjamin Haddad and Alice Pannier
Benjamin Haddad and Alice Pannier join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts to discuss France’s foreign policy and Emmanuel Macron’...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Dr. Alice Pannier & Benjamin Haddad
PodcastGreat Power, Great Responsibility: Global Competition in an Age of Uncertainty
In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, William Inboden, director of the Clements Center at the University of Texas at Austin, sits down with Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive ...
By Richard Fontaine & William Inboden
PodcastHenry Farrell and Abraham Newman Discuss "Weaponized Interdependence"
Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Carisa Nietsche on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts to discuss their concept, “weaponized interdependence...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Carisa Nietsche, Henry Farrell & Abraham Newman
PodcastThe Rise of Digital Dictators, With Andrea Kendall-Taylor
Andrea Kendall-Taylor, senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), sits down with James M. Lindsay to di...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor