Russia’s Authoritarian Self-Validation

Is it worth reflecting that the fear and insecurity this event generates within Russia is precisely the bread and butter of authoritarian self-validation. The Kremlin’s leadership has painted itself into to a lonely corner of brutalising isolation, futile alienation and haunted escalatory rhetoric. It has done so precisely because it knows no other way of communicating and engaging with a broader world. When these nationalists die, it strengthens the recriminatory agenda of pathological imperialism that drives their political system to the brink of self-extinction. It may have been Russian partisans, opportunistic internal State actors or Ukrainian forces that killed this man but the longer game here is that this kind of assassination might only strengthen the edifice of fear and insecurity within which the Russian leadership now finds itself so intractably imprisoned.

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