Russian political scientist Fyodor Lukyanov wrote in March that the ruling class of the Soviet Union was fully prepared for the collapse of the country. Those at the top, and not just in the Politburo, took action that intuitively led in one direction, he said, although it was not necessarily intentional. He didn't mention the satellites that broke off earlier, but parts of the ruling class in Czechoslovakia and other countries also saw the writing on the wall and acted accordingly. Three decades later, as Vladimir Putin was preparing to meet with Joe Biden, the Russian president said that the problem with empires is that they think they are so strong that they can afford to make small errors and mistakes. "But the problems keep piling up," he said, "and the moment comes when you can no longer cope with them." The U.S., he said, is now "marching with confidence, steadily and firmly along the path of the Soviet Union." This time, too, a few of those in the satellites see the writing on the wall.
Download PDF • 84KB