Geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan predicted Russia’s attack on Ukraine eight years ago. Through combining an expert understanding of demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security, he predicts tomorrow’s headlines for his clients, and he certainly did the math correctly when it comes to Russia.
In a presentation clip from 2014, Peter breaks down the major factors indicating that aggression from Russia was on the horizon. He also indicated which countries were likely to be on the receiving end of this, Ukraine making the top of the list.
The first factor is the population demographics of Russia. The Russians are dying out, Peter said, with two particular problems facing them in the short term:
1. Shortage of Soldiers
The draftable age demographic of 18-20 years old will drop by half within 5 years (this was back in 2014). With the Red Army rapidly decreasing, Peter said, Russia would no longer be a direct threat to their neighbours.
2. An Uneducated Population
The education system collapsed in 1989, Peter said, which means the youngest Russian engineers with a full suite of technical training are now in their 50s. Male mortality rate in Russia is 59 years old, which means their engineers are dying out and they will soon be unable to maintain their infrastructure. So, if they’re going to make a move, Peter said, they have to do it now.
The other factor pointing to aggression is geographical. Russia’s strategy has always been to protect their borders using geographical barriers like mountains, Peter said. Then they can focus their efforts on plugging the leftover access points, he added.
During the Soviet era, Peter said, they controlled all nine access points. At the end of the Soviet period, they controlled two. With the seizure of Crimea in 2014, they went to three. Ukraine would give them a fourth.
Lastly, Peter said the Russians don’t see any meaningful resistance in their way — the sanctions mean nothing to them, he said, because they see this as their last generation.
Hear more from Peter in the video below:
This video was originally recorded in 2014, and uploaded to our YouTube channel in 2017.
Speakers’ Spotlight made a donation in support of Ukraine through the Red Cross Ukraine Emergency Appeal. If you are interested in supporting the people of Ukraine during this crisis, below are some charities accepting donations:
- UNHCR (The Un Refugee Agency)
- Canadian Red Cross
- Doctors Without Borders
- Red Cross Ukraine Emergency Appeal
- Canada-Ukraine Foundation
Peter Zeihan helps people understand how the world works. His irreverent approach transforms what can be dense topics into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types. He is the critically-acclaimed of The Accidental Superpower, The Absent Superpower, and Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World.