|Author: Veronika Ryantova|
REVIEW: RUSSIA BETWEEN FASCISM AND DISINTEGRATION
This book is a monograph about the potential negative future for the Russian Federation. The author Yury Fedorov, an independent expert in Russian foreign and security policy, supposes that Russia is facing an economic and sociopolitical crisis and that this situation could evolve in two possible ways: an Orthodox fascist dictatorship or the disintegration of Russian territorially integrated units. In three chapters (one dedicated to fascism and two others which cover disintegration) the author provides a historical overview of both phenomena in the Russian past and also contemporary prospects for the development of these two scenarios.
The issue of the future development of Russia is highly discussed at the present time for several reasons, one of them being that Vladimir Putin's last presidential term of office is starting this year and he has to deal with the important issue of the succession. Even if he changes the constitution and is able to run for president again, his regime couldn't be as stable as is now because he will be 72 years old. For this reason the topic of this monograph is well chosen and the book could be useful in the current academic discussions.
The part of the book referring to disintegration is well argued. The author also mentions academic criticism of the prospect of disintegration for Russia and opposes it with several arguments. At the beginning of the second chapter he compares the case of Russia with cases of disintegration in history, such as the Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman Empires. From these cases, the author generalizes conditions or factors that could cause the disintegration of contemporary Russia. Maybe it would be better if this part had been organized in the same order as the chapter about fascism, i.e. firstly describing the historical development of the phenomena and then analyzing the probability of Russian disintegration in the near future. Finally, the part that covers the history of less well-known Siberian separatism is very valuable.
In comparison with the part about disintegration the first chapter about fascism is more problematic. The majority of the chapter is dedicated to a historical overview of Russian fascism, from the interwar period of Russian fascism in exile, through fascist organizations during the Soviet era, up to the post-Soviet period. Only a small part of the chapter is concerned with the contemporary era and, especially, little attention is paid to the fascist signs of the Russian leading regime. The author describes only some contemporary fascist organizations which are supported by the ruling clique but not the functioning of the fascist principles at the center, as has been described, for example, in the paper “Putin's Russia as a fascist political system” written by Alexander Motyl in 2016, where the author provides analysis of the concept of fascism and its application to the current Russian regime.
Nevertheless, as was mentioned above, the book presents good material which could be useful in the discussion about the immediate future of Russia.