By examining how power is constructed and maintained in Russia with the help of hydrocarbons—oil and gas—this article shows why this system is detrimental to Russia in the context of global environmental, technological, and geopolitical changes. While promoting a hydrocarbon culture as central to national identity, the Kremlin has failed to adapt to the global transition toward renewable energy. But external actors such as the European Union could encourage change from within to develop Russia’s untapped potential as a green power, given its vast endowments of renewable resources.

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