President Vladimir Putin has long promised to address low birth rates that have shrunk Russia's labour force


  • Bugajwski said Russia's state foundations will likely collapse if it loses in the war in Ukraine
  • He said Putin's power will weaken if Russia losses more territorial gains in Ukraine
  • More than 194,000 Russian soldiers have reportedly died in the war in Ukraine

Russia could soon see itself collapsing amid its invasion of Ukraine, and the sanctions imposed against it by Europe and the West lead to an economic decline, according to an analyst.

Janusz Bugajwski, a Senior Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, DC, said Russia's collapse will also likely happen if it loses in the war in Ukraine, which began in February last year.

"Russia's state foundations, much like its military, are much more brittle than Moscow's propaganda tries to convince its citizens and outsiders," Bugajwski said in an interview with The Kyiv Post. "Economic decline, a tightening budget squeeze, a personalistic regime without lines of succession, and a looming military defeat in Ukraine will spark conflicts within the elite, and between the center and numerous republics and regions."

In line with Russia's collapse, Bugajwski also said Russian President Vladimir Putin's power will "significantly weaken" if Moscow continues to suffer territorial losses in its war in Ukraine. He believes Putin's removal from his position, either by ousting and death, would lead to internal power struggles.

"Putin's hold will significantly weaken with territorial losses in Ukraine that the Kremlin can't conceal and with sharply declining economic conditions and government services as projected over the coming year. The rupture will accelerate after Putin expires or is ousted, as internal power struggles intensify, and some regional leaders will see an opportunity for forming new states similar to what occurred during the collapse of the USSR," he said.

Bugajwski said the conflict in the Kremlin is now being seen between different power institutions, likely referring to the tensions between the Russian Defense Ministry and Wagner's head Yevgeny Prigozhin who is accusing the military of refusing to give his group ammunition to use in the war.

Bugajwski also said the conflict in the Kremlin is also highlighted by the number of oligarchs and officials who died mysterious deaths as well as recent purges in military leadership. For instance, Putin recently fired Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, known as the "Butcher of Mariupol."

As of Sunday, Russia lost a total of 194,430 troops in the war in Ukraine, including 660 soldiers killed over the past day, according to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Luhansk Region