Either way, it can’t hold it.
Russia is no longer communist. It’s a personal dictatorship of Vladimir Putin. He holds all the reins of power. If a bus ran him over tomorrow, Russia would be plunged into chaos.
That’s why it doesn’t matter if he invades. Ukraine has spent a generation building a sense of national identity. They even have a democratic system that will let them choose a new President. Thinking they can be held down forever is naïve.
Russia is not unusual. Most of America’s great business empires are also dictatorships. This is especially true in technology. It’s guaranteed by “dual-share” structures that hold all the votes in one set of hands. The New York Times can’t be overthrown because the Sulzberger family owns the voting shares. Google can’t be bought because Larry Page and Sergey Brin control the voting shares. The same with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Even Under Armour can’t be bought.
It gets worse. It’s part of America’s corporate ethos that the founder, or the CEO, is the unquestioned king or queen of their domain. Some of the greatest U.S. corporations collapsed, or nearly so, during the last decade as a result. Jeffrey Immelt destroyed GE. Virginia Rometty destroyed IBM. Randall Stephenson wrecked AT&T. Even Intel nearly collapsed because of Brian Krzanich, until he broke one of his own rules by having an affair with a co-worker.
The point is that the problems of succession, and controlling dictators, isn’t unique to Russia, or to politics. The only protection any country, company or organization has is a system that lets voters, directors or boards toss incompetents. Too few have it in practice because bosses find ways around it.
Meanwhile, there’s a process whereby Joe Biden can be replaced, and even his party can be overthrown. If you want to know why the state of our union is strong, that’s what it comes down to. When you take any office here, even as an Army private, that’s what your oath says.