To kick off the year, rather than making some grand predictions about Russia, instead I speculate as to what 2022 may offer Putin, Patrushev, Mishustin, Shoigu, Kirienko and Kadyrov. So much will depend on one key decision, whether the system will legitimate itself 'socially' or as a 'fortress.'
The twitter thread on the VTsIOM poll I mentioned is here, and the Riddle 'Key Event of 2021' compilation is here.
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Something of a magazine episode. In the first half I talk about my being banned from Russia (here's the Foreign Ministry announcement), Putin at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Lavrov interviewed by the BBC (see more here) and Pertsev's recent article about the elite in Meduza...
In the first part of this slightly rambling episode, I develop on a theme I covered for the Sunday Times (here) on whether Moscow will move beyond annexing the Donbas and Lugansk People's Republics and actually seek to grab more territories. And why on earth might anything think this a good...