By Dr. S. Frederick Starr, ed.
January 18, 2024
What does Russia’s future hold? Of course, we don’t know. For a century determinists of various persuasions claimed to be able to predict future developments. They believed that a very few key economic or social indicators determined humankind’s future evolution. Nowadays all but the most diehard determinists accept that a broad range of factors contribute to the direction of change. We acknowledge that along with economic and social change, factors as diverse as the values and personalities of leaders, the dynamics of groups and bureaucracies, changing sources of energy, group and national psychology, and even changes in climate can all shape the future.
These and many other factors could affect the outcome of Russia’s current war on the Ukraine and developments within the Russian Republic immediately thereafter.
consensus? And if there is consensus in any area, does it acknowledge the possible importance of what Donald Rumsfeld called the “unknown unknowns”?
decade. We made a point of asking for their views on what will happen,
and not what they believe should happen. This paper presents the
thoughts of 25 respondents from 16 countries. Of course, the list could
Experts’ Scenarios on Russia’s Futures have been extended indefinitely to assure that all of the main perspectives would be represented. But ars longa, vita brevis. We are deeply grateful to
those who found time to contribute to this compendium and acknowledge
the good intentions of the many others who were not able to do so.
questions about Russia’s immediate future. Others may reject them all,
while yet others—and these are our target audience—may be so inspired
or infuriated by what they find in this collection as to lead them to pen
their own prognostications
S. Frederick Starr, Ph.D., is the founding chairman of the Central Asia- Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, and a Distinguished Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.