Four Takeaways From the Confer­ence “Russia after Putin”

Foto: EPP Group

Another Russia is possible: On 5/​6 June, repre­sen­ta­tives of the Russian oppo­si­tion and the EU discussed the perspec­tives of a post-imperial and demo­c­ratic Russia. LibMod Director Ralf Fücks summa­rizes the four key takeaways.


This meeting sends a clear message to the Russian people: A military defeat in Ukraine and the fall of the Putin system will not lead to the downfall of Russia – on the contrary: Putin is ruining the country and a better future will only start with demo­c­ratic change in Russia.

At the same time, this is an important message to political leaders in the West: Don’t be afraid of regime change in Russia. Putin’s downfall must not lead to chaos and an even more revan­chist and dangerous Russia. A different, post-imperial Russia, one that is no longer a threat to its neighbors and to its citizens, is possible.

We can’t foresee the way how the Putin regime will finally end. But history and political science tells us that total­i­tarian regimes seem quite solid until the day they crumble, and political change in Russia usually comes quite unex­pected, but then with high speed. That is why we need a convincing vision for Russia’s future as well as for the future of European-Russian relations.


How to get rid of the Putin-regime? For the time being, the only convincing answer is: By a crushing defeat of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. For centuries, Russian elites have been looking down on Ukraine as an appendix of their empire. But now it turns out that the hope for demo­c­ratic change in Russia depends on the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian people. This, by the way, is also the litmus test for Russian democrats: It is not enough to be against Putin – it is about supporting Ukraine to win.

Of course, a military defeat in Ukraine is only a necessary, but not a suffi­cient condition for demo­c­ratic change in Russia. What is needed are efforts of the demo­c­ratic oppo­si­tion and civil society in Russia, inde­pen­dent media as well as support from the West that should welcome every step towards the rule of law and demo­c­ratic freedom in Russia.

The West should also support Russia’s demo­c­ratic trans­for­ma­tion econom­i­cally: with a condi­tional easing of sanctions, the prospect of access to the European single market, and a “Russian Green Deal” that flanks the tran­si­tion to a post-fossil economy.


But what about the West? Garry Kasparov asked for a “collec­tive Churchill” in the West, a firm deter­mi­na­tion to stop Putin’s imperial mania and to enable Ukraine to win this war. Well said! In fact, we still have a lot of work to do to convince our political leaders that there is no room for compro­mise with Putin anymore.

Up to now, the number of arms supplied by the US and to a certain extend also by Germany and others was quite impres­sive. But in order to push back the Russian troops behind Ukraine’s borders, the West must step up its efforts, including a signif­i­cant number of tanks, long range missiles and aircraft. The more decisive Western support, the shorter the war and the fewer lives will be lost.


We should be very clear regarding the outcome of this war. Any peace arrange­ment must be based on the full terri­to­rial integrity and political sover­eignty of Ukraine, the pros­e­cu­tion of those respon­sible for Russian war crimes and the financial compen­sa­tion for the damage done to Ukraine. This should be the non-nego­tiable triangle, a yardstick also for the gradual lifting of economic sanctions.

We cannot spare Russia a defeat in this war and the lifting of its imperial curse. But this war is not about humil­i­ating Russia or bringing it down on its knees – it is about defending Ukraine’s existence as a free and inde­pen­dent nation, defending the European order and defending the basic prin­ci­ples of humanity: Don’t kill, don’t rape, don’t take away what is not yours.

We should ask all Russian citizens to look in the mirror: who do you want to be, in which kind of country you want to live? You and your children deserve a better future, and European doors will be open for a peaceful and demo­c­ratic Russia.

As fright­ening as the reality is today: A better Russia is no phantasy. It is a realistic option, and we should do every­thing we can to take advantage of this window of oppor­tu­nity by supporting Ukraine and the Russian demo­c­ratic opposition.


Hat Ihnen unser Beitrag gefallen? Dann spenden Sie doch einfach und bequem über unser Spenden­tool. Sie unter­stützen damit die publizis­tische Arbeit von LibMod.

Spenden mit Bankeinzug

Spenden mit PayPal

Wir sind als gemein­nützig anerkannt, entsprechend sind Spenden steuer­lich absetzbar. Für eine Spendenbescheini­gung (nötig bei einem Betrag über 200 EUR), senden Sie Ihre Adress­daten bitte an

Verwandte Themen

Newsletter bestellen

Mit dem LibMod-Newsletter erhalten Sie regelmäßig Neuigkeiten zu unseren Themen in Ihr Postfach.

Mit unseren Daten­schutzbes­tim­mungen
erklären Sie sich einverstanden.