Here’s Putin’s Russia in a nutshell:
When will Russia ever learn?
Radio Free Europe reports: “Putin was an enthusiastic womanizer and a violent bully who beat his wife.”
What else should we expect from the father of a nation where one woman is brutally murdered by her husband every every single hour of every single day?
What else should we expect from the father of a nation that ranks number one in the world in rate of divorce?
In such a nation, a man like Putin is a hero, to be anointed “president” for life. It is a bestial, terrifying nightmare of a country.
“The United States should pursue a sustainable cooperative relationship with Nazi Germany to advance vital American national interests.”
If you saw that conclusion from two American academics just as World War II was getting started, would you be offended? Shocked? Infuriated? Would you think you were dealing with amoral scumbags who were probably more dangerous to the USA than the Nazis themselves?
Well that is the conclusion (replacing “Nazi Germany” with “Russia”) recently offered with respect to Russia in “Russia and U.S. National Interests” by Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill, written under the aegis of Dmitri Simes of the Nixon Center. If the whole report makes you too ill, maybe you should content yourself with the summary recently published by Politico.
Wow, how did this slip through the “Russia Beyond the Headlines” censors? Felix Goryunov, a Moscow-based economics journalist, viciously condemns the Putin economy and concludes it is unworthy for WTO admission, which will crush it:
Although Russia can now join the World Trade Organization, it should not do so because its economy is inherently weak and uncompetitive. Russia’s export product base is steadily deteriorating. After 20 years of talk from the Kremlin about the need to diversify and modernize the economy, Russia’s economy still relies on the extractive industries. The majority of Russian manufacturing, agricultural and service companies, to say nothing of small businesses, are uncompetitive even in the domestic market. Without strong state support, prohibited by WTO rules, they would lose even after the expiration of the transition period for full accession.
Although corruption has been condemned by the Kremlin as country’s Public Enemy No. 1, there are no visible signs it has decreased. Many high-quality domestic consumer products can‘t be marketed across the country. Two decades after the start of market reforms, there are only a handful of nationally recognized brand names of products “made in Russia.”
It’s no wonder that the unfriendly business climate causes domestic capital to flee the country. The Central Bank of Russia estimates that this year the capital outflow will reach $70 billion. This would be an addition to the approximately $1 trillion that has left the country since the mid-1990s.
It is hard to find a clearer description of attitude of the Russian political elites towards business than its comparison with the famous wisecrack by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge: “The business of America is business.” If the Kremlin could be honest, its declaration must be: ”The business of Russia is to fleece business.”
Ouch. Speaking of corruption, by the way, Russia is still dead last on the Transparency International bribe-payers index.
The next time you find yourself mumbling unkind words about the apathetic youth of today, or else deriding the muddle-headed protests of twonkish Charlie Gilmour types, stop and think about the Nashi. A right wing Russian youth organisation bankrolled by Vladimir Putin’s shady regime and various big business interests, they practically make you want to raise a statue to any teenager who chooses to spend their daylight hours idling beneath a duvet or playing Robin Hood in the City.
This YouTube, one in a series in which the cartoon character Mr. Freeman excoriates the Putin dictatorship, sees Mr. Freeman begging Dmitri Medvedev to fire Vladimir Putin and seek reelection. He warns that “what is old cannot be new” and that Putin will plunge Russia “into medieval gloom.” It has received more than 1 million views.
The news on Russia’s population isn’t pretty.
Fred Weir, leading Russia correspondent, says so.
Leading German scholars say so too.
PBS agrees whole-heartedly.
And the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs shares the same opinion.
They all agree: Russia is going extinct under the “leadership” of Vladimir Putin.
The large banner reads: “Welcome, investors!”
The smaller banner reads: “Sochi Olympiad”
This photo (click it to see full size), from a photo essay published by English Russia based on a trip along the Kremlin’s parapets, gets our vote for the most poetic image of neo-Soviet Russia. Right behind the Kremlin’s walls lies a huge pile of garbage! In more ways than one.