Vladimir Putin has a much bigger long-term problem beyond Ukraine: Russia's population is shrinking, which for political scientist Ivan Krastev will impact how post-Putin Russia looks like because Putin won't let Russians even talk about it.
That's a big deal, he tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, because the West seems to be primarily focused on isolating Russia while dreaming of a post-Putin world ... without Russia.
Meanwhile, Krastev says the Russians are prepping for a future in which they deal with China instead of the West — which is equally far off for them.
The result of all this will be a Russia that's so isolated that it's like under forever COVID quarantine.
Why? It's the Putin effect, which has killed our capacity to imagine a Russia without him.
Krastev says that Putin, a big fan of the USSR, has leveled up from old Soviet leaders by mummifying Russia itself.
Watch the GZERO World episode: How Putin created Ukraine’s determination to resist