Nearly a decade ago, I participated in a research project on possible Russian futures in the year 2020. One of the scenarios on the table was that of a dystopic future—a so-called “Fortress Russia”. That scenario involved Russia finding itself in a hostile environment, surrounded by regional conflicts. Oil revenues had dropped, and the country and population were beset by economic crises. In order to respond to the external threats posited by this scenario, Russia had to mobilise—even if such national mobilisation limited political rights and freedoms. My colleagues and I conducted focus groups on this “nightmare scenario” in cities across the country, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. Nearly all respondents judged this scenario to be extremely undesirable and also highly improbable.