Editor’s Note:This is the first part of a three-part series on Russia’s leadership after President Vladimir Putin eventually leaves office. Part 1
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)
revisits Putin’s rise to power; Part 2 will examine Russia’s demographics, energy sector and Putin’s political changes; and Part 3 will explore whether the political systems Putin has built will survive him.
Russia has undergone a series of fundamental changes over the past year, with more changes on the horizon. Russia’s economic model based on energy is being tested, the country’s social and demographic make-up is shifting, and its political elites are aging. All this has led the Kremlin to begin asking how the country should be led once its unifying leader, Vladimir Putin, is gone. Already, a restructuring of the political elite is taking place, and hints of succession plans have emerged. Historically, Russia has been plagued by the dilemma of trying to create a succession plan following a strong and autocratic leader. The question now is whether Putin can set a system in place for his own passing out of the Russian leadership (whenever the time may be) without destabilizing the system as a whole.