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What Could Happen When Putin’s Reign Comes to an End? Taylor Discusses in Foreign Affairs Piece

April 27, 2022

BBC,Foreign Affairs,Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor

President Putin's reign over Russia will inevitably end one day, whether he dies in office, is deposed, or willingly gives up power. But what will happen when that occurs? Brian Taylor, professor of political science and expert on Russian politics, says it's difficult to predict what will happen when the inevitable occurs. 

"Far from a stabilizing event, however, the inevitable end of his rule will be an uncertain and likely perilous moment for Russia. For the last two decades, Putin has held on to power by weakening the country’s formal rules and institutions—removing the guardrails that would ensure an orderly transfer of power," says Taylor. "As a result, the range of plausible scenarios for what would happen if he dies or leaves office is much wider than if a U.S. or even a Chinese leader were to do the same. Although Russia’s constitution spells out a process for electing a new leader, in practice, Russia’s next president is likely to be determined by a behind-the-scenes struggle between elites," he says. 

Read more in Taylor's article, "The Power Struggle After Putin," published in Foreign Affairs. 

Taylor also spoke to BBC News about the war in Ukraine, and was quoted in the RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty piece, "Once A Hope Of Russian Liberals And The West, Medvedev Beats A Bellicose Drum To Stay Safe, Relevant."

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