Putin’s Paradise: What If Russia Had Chosen Prosperity When the USSR Collapsed?


Originally published in Heat Street

Twenty-five years ago, in December 1991, the Soviet Union fragmented, ending the Cold War. Today, Russia and the West seem again set on an intractable conflict. Here Dr Andrew Foxall, an academic and Russia expert, imagines how things could have been different…

It is remarkable to think, a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, that Russia’s relations with the West have come so far. Competition has been replaced by cooperation.

When Vladimir Putin became president in 2000, Russia was hampered by corruption and cronyism. His early campaigns to reassert the rule of law and tame the power of the oligarchs were justified.

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