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Forecasting Russia

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Forecasting Russia

Strength and Weakness


5 min read
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Is Russia really as strong as it seems? 

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Russia’s military interventions in Ukraine and Syria, and its efforts to undermine Western democracies through information warfare – among other actions – have led many in the West to conclude Russia is a formidable threat to the global order. Yet according to political forecaster George Friedman, Russia’s recent offensive maneuvers do not reflect its real power capabilities. In this eye-opening editorial, Friedman shares his Russia-related predictions and explains why he believes that Russia is both “overestimated and underestimated as a global power.” 


Like the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Russia today projects more power than it really possesses. 

When Vladimir Putin assumed power in Russia, he successfully changed Russia’s international image from “broken and weak” into one of strength. He bolstered the notion of a resurgent Russia by invading Georgia in 2008, threatening to cut natural gas supplies to Europe, intervening militarily in Syria and engaging in information warfare on social media. Yet the bold actions which make Russia appear strong are really just sleight of hand on Putin’s part: Through these demonstrations of force, Putin has managed to deflect attention from...

About the Author

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs. He is the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

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