From: Stratfor
To: Ric Cantrell,
Subject: A Chronology of Russia From Yeltsin's Fall Through Putin's Rise
Date: Sun Jul 20 22:24:00 MDT 2014
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Editor's Note: As Stratfor readies to look forward in coming days at the implications for Russia -- and its leader Vladimir Putin -- in the downing July 17 of a Malaysian jetliner, we also invite readers to take stock with us of past forecasts of Russia’s geopolitical evolution in the context of global events. Stratfor Chairman George Friedman will examine the likelihood of Putin’s undoing in the next issue of the Geopolitical Weekly, to publish July 22. Accordingly, we look back here at 1998, when we predicted the unfolding Kosovo crisis would be the undoing of late Russian President Boris Yeltsin. We share our assessment from 2000, when we noted that newly elected President Putin was rapidly consolidating absolute power. In 2005, Stratfor reassessed Putin's situation after his first presidential term and laid out how his leadership would begin to reverse the tide of concessions and reassert Russia’s role in line with historical cycles -- including the forging of strategic relationships with countries such as Germany. In 2008, we looked at ways that Russia would capitalize on American weaknesses, including the fatigue of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011, we foresaw the next stage, as Russia moved to solidify its sphere of influence while still able. In this forecast, we saw the events setting the stage for today’s crisis in Ukraine. Now, we foresee more historical change. We offer this chronology of forecasts in advance of our next report on Russia’s future.
A Chronology of Russia From Yeltsin's Fall Through Putin's Rise

Kosovo Crisis Sets Template for New Russian Politics
During the Kosovo crisis, as Russian politicians rallied to challenge NATO intervention in Serbia and found a new source of unity, then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin found himself isolated.

Oct. 15, 1998: One voice that has been relatively weak has been that of embattled Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Though he declared his firm opposition to NATO strikes on October 9, Russia's nationalists and communists have claimed that weak Yeltsin leadership allowed the U.S. and the West to assert hegemony. Yeltsin is even losing control of national policy regarding Kosovo. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin was forced to rebut Defense Ministry statements on the issue, claiming only Yeltsin and the Foreign Ministry could make official policy. Kosovo may be Yeltsin's undoing, as it has united and revitalized his opponents.

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