The start of the war in Ukraine, in the view of the West unjustified, can bring big problems to Vladimir Putin. Besides, the problems are already obvious, only they could be even longer term. Analysts speak of the cruel blow received by Russia, and that Putin almost has no escape. But while it seems like a far-fetched scenario, the irony is that it might actually happen. And that much sooner than expected.

Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and the cruel blow received by Russia

Although there were signs of what was happening since February 24, no one believed that Vladimir Putin would generate this conflict. Although arbitrary and biased, the conflict became the most tense moment in Eastern Europe since World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 1960s.

Once the invasion was launched, within weeks the Russian autocrat destroyed his country’s prosperity in a misguided attempt to rebuild a doomed empire. Despite Vladimir Putin’s penchant for using public assets to benefit himself and his former KGB comrades, by February 23, 2022, the day before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the country had paid off its debts. At the same time, it has accumulated considerable foreign exchange reserves and, for the most part, has maintained a budget surplus.

To be sure, Putin’s increasingly harsh autocracy worked against subsequent socio-economic gains rather than in their favor. After 2014 and the annexation of Crimea to Ukraine, and even as the global pandemic of 2020 began, real wages were falling.

At the same time, wealth inequality was rising and foreign investment had fallen to levels not seen since 2003. During thirty years of uneven post-communist recovery, the population witnessed Russia’s renaissance. Now, instead, both the Russians and the West are witnessing its ruin.

Vladimir Putin’s autocracy has not only wreaked havoc in Ukraine, it has also destroyed Russia. In little more than eight weeks, Vladimir Putin’s ill-conceived war has erased the gains of the past three decades.

Russians have been turned into international pariahs, unable to travel abroad easily and suffering from the heaviest sanctions ever imposed in world history.

The burden of Putin’s war against Ukraine will be borne by ordinary Russian citizens for decades, if not longer. The damage to Russian society, its economy, its military, its political development and its international reputation will outlive Vladimir Putin.

The cruel blow received by Russia comes from Gorbachev

Although it doesn’t seem like it, the Russian Federation itself is in danger of dissolving as a result of this war. More and more voices are talking about the imminent collapse of the borders of the current Russian Federation, against the background of the stubbornness of the Kremlin leader to recover territories from Ukraine.

In a recent analysis, the parallel is drawn between the decline of the USSR, generated by Gorbachev’s perestroika and glaznost, and what is happening now, due to the decisions taken by Vladimir Putin.

“Although the USSR ceased to exist as a legal entity after 1991, the collapse of the USSR is still happening today. The two Chechen wars, Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, skirmishes on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and the second Karabakh war in 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan are just a few examples that show that the Union The Soviet Union is still collapsing today.

However, historians of the future will likely describe Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine as the most important moment, if not the final moment, of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is not known when the war in Ukraine will end, but it will likely mark the dissolution of the Russian Federation (the legal successor to the Soviet Union) as it is known today.

It is undeniable that Russia has suffered a major blow to its economy, a devastation of its military capability and a degradation of its influence in regions where it once had influence!” Luke Coffey, analyst at the Hudson Institute.

The scenario for Russia after the end of the war. Survival or collapse?

The question of what may happen to Russia itself once the war is over is a topical one. Most political and socio-economic analysts have made scenarios. Some of them seem unachievable, even talking about the disintegration of the Russian Federation.

Should this scenario materialize, the US would become the main force, and Russia, which was like a buffer, would become just a millstone that the “Mighty USA” would throw into the well.

Others, given the dramatic failures already recorded by the Russian armed forces, became good reasons to consider the possibility of extreme consequences. It was considered, including a civil war and the collapse of the state.

Some observers considered it all just speculation. Others, not many, thought these were realistic scenarios. However, given the magnitude of the risks posed by Russia’s descent into chaos, these possibilities must be taken seriously.

The cruel blow received by Russia, through the unprecedented sanctions, created noise and anxiety among the Russian population. Although few, and quickly quelled, there were protests in major cities.

On the other hand, the Russian press in exile harshly criticizes the decisions of Vladimir Putin, saying that the cruel blow received by Russia could even be the disappearance of the leader from the Kremlin, considering that, however, 90% of the population still believes in him.


Although things don’t show signs of getting better any time soon, Vladimir Putin is still hoping for an outright victory. On the other hand, Ukraine is begging for Western aid, and the US has again jumped in to help them with $50 billion.

Eastern Europe is currently undergoing a new reshaping, if we can call it that. Where and when this situation will lead remains to be seen.

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