NEWSWATCH: In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell

Vladimir Putin

[“In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell” – Strobe Talbott – Reuters – Dec. 16, 2014]

Strobe Talbott predicts that a third Chechen War could break out in 2015, sounding the death knell for Russia’s current geographic configuration.

Indeed, Talbott comments that Russia could break apart by the end this century, and that the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin could be a precipitating factor.

The year ahead could see the outbreak of the third Chechen war, which, in turn, could be the death knell of the Russian Federation in its current borders.

If, as is imaginable, Russia dismembers itself later this century — the way the Soviet Union did in 1991 — it will largely be a consequence of President Vladimir Putin’s policies.

Talbott argues that by grounding his own concept of statehood on ethnicity and aggression, Putin is reinforcing themes that likewise fuel Islamic secessionism.

By proclaiming ethnicity and religion as the basis for Russian statehood and aggression against its neighbors, Putin is inadvertently stoking the forces of secessionism in those parts of Russia that are historically and culturally Islamic.

This December there has been an upturn of violence in Chechnya, by forces with aspirations for a would-be Caucasus Caliphate tied to al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State.

… a lull in Chechnya … ended … with a series of bloody incidents in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

The group behind the resurgence of unrest is advocating a “Caucasus Caliphate,” with ties to al Qaeda and, more recently, Islamic State.

There is at least an indirect tie between outside support for Islamic radicalism in the Caucasus and Putin’s sponsorship of Russian secessionism in eastern Ukraine.

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