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Working paper

Россия: виртуальные и реальные политические перспективы

Russian political, analytical and scientific publications depict a future of the country mainly in a framework of the “Great Power paradigm”. This paradigm uses such an alternatives as Great Power versus Catastrophe (at times, Global), Great Power versus failed state, Great Power versus something foggy and dim (just as that-what-must-not-be-named), or fixes solely on one position – Great/leading power. The trouble is that it carries out a discussion on Russian future into a realm of irreality. The analysis of Russian resource capabilities shows that over the next decade, the country is likely to lose its Great power status. So the real dilemma of Russian political future is much more prosy and much more tragic than “Great Power versus Global Catastrophe”, it is an option between (at best) a regional power comfortable enough for its citizens and existing in its current borders and (at worst) a degradation and disintegration of the country. Meanwhile it is not so easy to achieve or even to come close to the best position. For this the country has to solve a lot of complicated tasks, including passing through the deep and painful consciousness revolution – that is to reject a mythology of its own greatness and elaborate a rational, critical view at its capabilities. Despite a gravity of choice between “a host of bitter truths” of reality and “an uplifting us illusion” of political mythology, the preference for “bitter truths” seems to be the only way to prevent the worst future scenario.