Putin experiencing ‘the impotence of omnipotence’


Many of the apparent contradictions in Russia today can be explained by the fact that Vladimir Putin and his regime have entered what political scientist Guilliermo O’Donnell called “the impotence of omnipotence,” the gradual loss of power by leaders who remain in office for a long time, says Lilia Shevtsova:

In a wide-ranging interview with News.Online.UA, notes Paul Goble, the Russian analyst says that “the unlimited power” that the Kremlin leader had enjoyed has now degenerated in the ways O’Donnell found was characteristic of South American dictators in office for extended periods.

Russia: What to Expect From Putin

Speakers: Agnia Grigas, Stephen Sestanovich, Julianne Smith
Moderator: Nadia Diuk, National Endowment for Democracy.

April 26, 2016: Experts discuss Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and Syria, its relations with Europe and the United States, and what to expect from President Putin next.

View here.

Join Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative for the first U.S. screening and English-language premiere of the film Who Is Mr. Putin? (above) Based on investigations by independent journalists Anastasia Kirilenko and Vladimir Ivanidze, the film documents the origins of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s private wealth and subsequent rise to power.

The film has been lauded by experts for demonstrating how Putin’s ascension to the Russian presidency is explained by an alliance built in the early 1990s between himself, certain friends from Leningrad’s KGB, and mafia groups. Who Is Mr. Putin? was released in December 2015 and has already been viewed by more than 2 million Russian-speakers worldwide.

The screening will be followed by a short panel discussion, moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow David Satter, featuring Anastasia Kirilenko, Karen Dawisha, and Ilya Zaslavskiy.


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