1. Russian government can effectively keep all Russian regions inside the Russian Federation only by combination of petrodollars and brutal force.

2. That is why a strong government in Russia will always have to be aggressive and brutal, no matter who is in charge.

3. That is why a simple replacement of Putin by any other person would accomplish nothing. Putin"s policy is defined by the interests of his state, not by his personal whims.

4. On the other hand, any substantial weakening of the imperial centre would entail renewed endeavours of various Russian regions to weaken or totally break their subordination to this centre — as it always happened in Russian history (1917-1918, 1991, to some extent also 1990s).

5. The combination of (1-4) means that there are only three scenarios for Russia"s future:

(a) Russia preserves its current borders and internal order as well as its permanent aggressiveness in both home and foreign policy;

(b) The imperial centre weakens so much that the country lapses into spontaneous disintegration;

(c) The imperial centre weakens and the country undergoes the process of controlled and ordered disintegration, after the model of 1991 rather than 1917-1918.

6. The last option (5c) is obviously much safer for the world than the other two (either 5a or 5b).

7. That is why, for the sake of global safety, the West would do well to get ready in advance for 5c option and step in timely in order to foster and control the process.