It has been suggested by some bloggers that no matter how corrupt or ruthlessly ambitious Putin may be, at least he is loyal to the Russian people, so that Russia is getting its money’s worth from the former KGB functionary. So where does Russia stand after a veritable eternity under Putin?
|Mortality||10th highest||CIA Factbook|
|Birth Rate||165 th||CIA Factbook|
|Life Expectancy||152nd||CIA Factbook|
|Predicted Pop. Decrease||17.5 million by 2050||World Bank|
Source _ By the Numbers
The numbers are even worse if you separate ethnic Russians from the vast and growing immigrant population of non-Russians. Despite the new “rose tinted glasses” being held over Russian demographic numbers by the usual suspects — numbers that Russian demographic experts themselves do not even trust — the human substrate of ethnic Russians is melting away.
Putin is trying to control all news coming out of Russia, but with the internet that is harder than it sounds.
About one million Russians a year are retiring into an uncertain future. And their replacements are becoming harder to find. The best of the young are leaving, capital flight limits new investments in-country, and the youngest of the young are either not being born, or are abandoned after birth to a crumbling and horrific orphanage system. “As of 2010, the abortion rate was 37.4 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 years, the highest of any country reported in UN data.”
The Russian military is running out of men to draft for a number of reasons. Eligibility is low due to fewer overall numbers along with poorer levels of health and fitness overall. Drug and alcohol abuse are rampant among Russian youth. “… addiction is hitting young people the hardest. The majority of drug addicts are between 16 and 30 years of age. In the last decade, the age of “first use” dropped from 17 to 14 years.” Overall, Russia’s Youth Population is in Steady Decline
Russia’s Deeply Notched Population Pyramid
Russia’s “womb drain” — the flight of young fertile ethnic Russian girls and women — further reduces the future number of young men and women able to enter Russia’s workforce.
It is reasonable to assume that the real number of women emigrated from Russia is 1.5–2 times greater than the official data.
The reproductive losses caused by female emigration from Russia are indirectly estimated at 833,000 children that will not be born in the nearest 5 years.  _Demographia.ru
Russia’s ongoing brain drain further depletes the number of capable young Russian men — exactly the ones Russia will need if it is to become competitive economically and technologically any time in the foreseeable future.
Russia has not seen anything like it since 1917, Newsru.com reported. Over 1.25 million people have left in the last 10 years, the news portal reported. “The country is hemorrhaging intellectual potential,” Newsru.com cited political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin as saying. “The most active, the cleverest and the most mobile are leaving.” _MoscowNews
“It seems that the whole generation of 25- to 45-year-old Russians is actively thinking about running away, especially considering the prospect of seeing the same people in power …. All dinner conversations tend to finish with this subject,” said the general director of a multibillion-dollar multinational company in Russia, who asked not to be identified because of the blunt nature of his comments. _MoscowTimes
More: Look beneath the surface glitz, the public relations announcements, and the official (and carefully funneled) propaganda. What is actually happening to real people and the country itself under the nascent tsar of the grand new Russian empire?
…a potential problem for Russia is that the depopulation rate in its far east, near the border with China, is higher than the national average. By contrast, the Chinese population on that increasingly sparsely populated border is growing rapidly. Will trouble brew on this border as a result? _Russia’s Future
But since Siberia is the repository of Russia’s great resource wealth — which is what Putin is banking on to build his grand new Russian empire — the future is anything but secure for Russia.
The goal: to restore the glory of Russia the only way Putin seems to know how—the raw acquisition of power. “He is trying to keep stability, as he sees it, with billions of dollars in oil,” said Evgeny Gontmakher, an analyst at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, a Moscow-based think tank. “I predict chaos.” _Anna Nemtsova
Russia needs a lot of outside help to upgrade Russia’s infrastructure — including its oil & gas and its military infrastructure. And Russia has the bad third world dictator’s habit of nationalising foreign industrial assets as soon as they start producing well.
The tight oil story has been closely watched in Moscow, where Russian oilmen and politicians have quickly realized its enormous potential promise for themselves. At the time when Russia’s legacy fields are running down, tight oil — at least in theory — could lead to a renaissance. Some in the Russian oil community are even starting to say that Russia’s top oil priority now should not be the Arctic offshore but tight oil.
Yet tight oil, as the Russian proverb has it, “is not like just walking across a field.” Tight oil typically requires approaches carefully tailored to each oil field, an artful combination of technologies, much trial and error, and strict cost control. The “tight oil revolution” in the United States has been mostly the work of small and medium-size companies. _NYT
For Russia’s energy and military infrastructures to survive, they need the freedom to form independent startups and diversified enterprises — free from Putin’s grubby grasping fingers. That is something Putin will never allow, even if the startup capital were available, rather than fleeing to overseas banks where it is inaccessible.
In Russia, capital is highly centralised — and very flighty. And foreign capital operates in Russia at a very high level of risk. A level of risk that is virtually uninsurable.
No, things are not getting better in Russia — despite all the state sponsored agitprop. Why do you think Putin grabbed control over all public forums? Because what is happening in Russia cannot stand the light of day.