The failure of the forthcoming G20 summit to reverse the global recession will be followed by a complete collapse of the US economy, a civil war, and the country's disintegration by the summer of 2010, a Russian professor has claimed.
This apocalyptic scenario authored by an ex-KGB analyst has proved a hit with the Russian state media over the past few months.
In his interview with Sky News, Igor Panarin said he came up with his grim forecast back in 1998 by analysing the parallels between the Soviet Union in its final years and the current situation in the US.
"Mr Obama is similar to the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev was also making great promises for the Soviet Union but the situation was only getting worse," he said.
By next summer, according to Professor Panarin, the US will disintegrate into six blocs - and everyone will get their piece.
The "Californian Republic" will fall under China's influence, "the Texas region" under Mexico's while Alaska will revert to Russian control.
Hawaii will come under Japanese or Chinese rule, East Coast states should join the EU, while central northern parts of the US may gradually drift under Canada's influence.
This theory could be dismissed as marginal, if not for the prominence of Mr Panarin's academic position and the enthusiasm with which his views have been embraced by state-controlled media.
Mr Panarin is the dean of International Relations at Moscow's prestigious Diplomatic Academy.
His high-profile students have included parliamentary deputies, regional leaders, Kremlin officials and Foreign Ministry spokespeople.
When he presented his views in a public lecture earlier this month, the Ministry invited foreign diplomats and media to attend.
Mr Panarin's controversial predictions have also been given a prominent platform in his country's state media. His interview to a Russian daily was translated by a state news agency into four languages.
He has appeared on state-controlled TV channels, his views broadcast to local and worldwide audiences in Russian, English and Arabic.
The story of America's demise, although exotic, offers a welcome respite for Russians who still measure themselves against their former adversary, says Masha Lipman, a political analyst with the Carnegie Moscow centre.
"People find it nice to hear something that resonates with their deeper expectations, even if they know they are not realistic," she said.
Click to view image: 'USA in 210'
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