The Russian Situation and the Future of Putin

President Putin's regime in Russia is plagued by many crises, starting with the turbulence in the regime of one of his strongest allies, Bashar al-Assad; through the Ukrainian geopolitical crisis; and not ending with the stormy fall that hit the Russian ruble. Several factors have contributed to the worsening of the Russian situation, including Western sanctions, instability of oil prices, as well as a number of internal issues.

Some of these calamities were strategically and economically beneficial to Turkey, which is planning in the coming decades to become the main gateway for the transit of Russian gas, although the Russian economic crisis may reduce the number of Russian tourists going to Turkey. Israel is also planning to export gas to the EU in large amounts, capitalizing on the decline of the role of Russian gas.

Is unlikely that Western sanctions on Russia will ease in the near future, especially with the expectation of a Republican president in the White House after the rise of ISIS and the perception that Obama's Middle East policies have failed, and after the wrath of the European Union over Russia's intervention In Ukraine and its support for the Assad regime. Nevertheless, most commentators believe that, despite increased penalties, it is impossible to isolate Russia internationally. According to Russian Finance Minister, Anton Saloanov, Russia is losing annually about $140 billion as a result of Western sanctions and falling oil prices.

To what extent can Putin, "the modernist Emperor" as one author called him, maintain an iron grip, and for how long will his regime remain stable? Some are betting on a true popularity that Putin enjoys in the Russian ranks, while others see the end in sight, arguing that Putin's regime had lost the foundations of its legitimacy.