Russia now faces a momentous political crisis. The abuses of the Putin regime are so fundamental that, without profound change, the protest movement is unlikely to be stopped. Putin, however, is unlikely to agree to reforms that would threaten his hold on power. The stage is therefore set for a protracted conflict between Putin and the opposition that it likely to touch on each of the corrupt aspects of the present regime’s policies – the authoritarian political system, the corrupt and criminalized economy, the war in the North Caucasus and threat of terrorism, and finally the aggressive foreign policy that has put Russia at odds with the West and made it an object of resentment and fear on the part of the former Soviet republics and former Warsaw Pact members that are its closest neighbors. And if the world’s largest country in terms of area is heading for a system crisis, the result could be a new round of tragedies for the Russian people and a serious danger for the whole world.