Timothy J. Colton is Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies and chair of the Academy of International and Area Studies at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books, including Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia (with Samuel Charap, 2017).
Will Russia’s war tip the Kremlin even further toward tyranny while fortifying Ukraine’s democracy? That will depend on Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky as much as on the course of the war itself.
At the end of the Cold War, semipresidentialism became the modal constitution of the postcommunist world. In Russia and other post-Soviet states, however, this system of government has impeded consolidation.