One of the oft-voiced constraints on the longevity, or perhaps durability, of Russian power is that of its demographic decline. If there is a mainstay of wisdom in Washington, it is that Russia’s underperforming economy, and a terrible demographic outlook, mean that Russia doesn’t have a “long game.” President Barack Obama echoed this view in 2014:
I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking.