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Some experts agree that if Russia loses the war, it will disintegrate into smaller units. While foreign experts estimate that up to 20 new states could be created in this way, according to Czech expert on Russia Jan Šír, there could be up to 40.
What will happen to Russia if it loses in Ukraine? Some analysts are clear. Russia should, like the Soviet Union in 1991, break up into smaller units. There could be up to 40 of them.
According to political science professor Alexander Motyl, who has commented on the fate of Russia for the international relations magazine Foreign Policy, it is likely that the clearer Ukraine’s victory is, the tougher the struggle for power in Russia will be. According to Motyl, Putin will leave office and right-wing nationalists who want to continue the war will fight for power. A movement seeking peace and reform of Russia could stand against them.
This could probably lead to a weakening of the regime and growing discontent among some Russian republics. This could particularly apply to Chechnya, Tatarstan, Dagestan, Yakutia or Bashkortostan. Motyl also bases his claim on the fact that we know the disintegration of the state from history as the usual consequence of a lost war.
British economic and political analyst Timothy Ash is of a similar opinion. He is convinced that the war will only end with the defeat of Russia. “I see a decent chance that we will see the breakup of the federation into many new states, like the USSR broke up in 1991. The federation is, I guess, 89 regions and autonomous republics. We could see 20 new states,” Ash wrote for the Kyiv Post.
Czech expert on Russia Jan Šír is of a similar opinion. “It is one of the scenarios that needs to be taken into account. The key will be the weakening of central power. This can limit the flow of money to the periphery and thus weaken their ties with the center,” Šír told the TN.cz editors.
If the regions outside the center of Russia did not receive money from Moscow, it could happen that they would no longer feel the need to be part of the federation. Šír is of the opinion that there might not be only 20 states that would like to secede, but perhaps twice as many.
Since, according to his words, Russia itself has established a precedent that it is possible to move the borders of other states, it is quite possible that Siberia would become, for example, a part of China.
But the disintegration of Russia could be risky for the West. According to Šír, this would mean a weakening of control over nuclear weapons. In addition, the world would have to prepare for a certain amount of other war conflicts, which would be connected with the establishment of new republics. Last but not least, it could also trigger a massive wave of migration.
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