Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2023

In Osteuropa 5-6/2023

Portent of Doom
Putin’s Autocracy and Prigozhin’s Uprising

Otto Luchterhandt

Deutsche Fassung


The British historian Ian Kershaw has developed a catalogue of factors to analyse the influence of political leaders on the course of history. At its core lies the classic relationship between personality and power. Kershaw’s grid may be used to explain the rise of Vladimir Putin, once an unknown man without qualities, to the presidency of Russia, the concentration of power in his person, and the transition from autocracy to dictatorship. Every successful autocracy carries within itself the seeds of its own downfall. In Putin's case, the war he arbitrarily unleashed on Ukraine is acting as a catalyst. The “Wagner Uprising” under Evgenii Prigozhin on June 24, 2023, is the overture to the Putin regime’s “Götterdämmerung”.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2023, pp. 73–95)