The continuity between the Soviet Union and the current regime is obvious. This continuity is primarily found in the dismissive attitude toward individuals and their rights, which can be seen both in government actions and everyday interactions. It is also evident in the state’s paternalistic regard for its citizens, and the citizens’ lack of faith in nongovernmental organizations. For many, if an organization is not government-run, there is the chance they are suspicious anti-government subversive bodies.
In all the years of the post-Soviet period, the country has still been unable to form stable civil-society institutions. The judicial system seems to be even more dependent on the executive branch than during the Soviet Union, when the direct dictatorial rule was at least mitigated by party bodies. Today’s Russian parliament is painfully reminiscent of the obedient Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. The presence of “opposition” parties should not mislead anyone. The very word “democracy” has been completely discredited in the eyes of the Russian public. __ Russia Trapped in 1991
The problem with the Russian Federation’s economic model, much like that of the Soviet Union’s before it, is that it is only sustainable so long as energy prices remain artificially high. But, of course, energy prices are almost certainly going to decline over the coming years as a result of greater energy efficiency in the West, slowing growth in the East, and greater supply as a result of the energy revolutions being enjoyed in the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere around the world. And as goes the price of oil so goes the Russian state. __ Russia is Doomed
The government is not the country __ attributed to Al Fin
A country is far more than its government. It is the land, the character of its people, its history, and its future potential — among other things. The same is true for Russia. In many ways, Russia has not begun to escape the ghosts of the USSR, a political and economic fantasy that was always doomed to fall.
In order for a viable Russia to rise from the ashes of the USSR, the former absurd construct must be allowed to die. Unfortunately, the corpse was revived as a zombie state, called the Russian Federation, with many of the same people and institutions — although with different names — as the putrified USSR.
Most observers failed to understand how deeply defective the Soviet system of politics, economics, industry, and civil society were, from beginning to end, top to bottom. The problems that haunt Russian society were all made significantly worse during the Soviet years — and remain at crisis levels. High death rates, low birth rates, high abortion rates, drunkenness, the emigration of the most creative and ambitious, suicide, despair, infectious disease, decline of the public health system, industrial and military decline, overdependency on natural resource exports, and so on . . .
Putin and his drunken, deluded worshipers look back on the USSR as “days of glory” for Russia, when in reality the fault-ridden monstrosity was always living on borrowed time. Unfortunately, many of the same people and institutions who made the USSR into a purgatorial zombieland, survived to reach high levels of influence in “Russia.”
Russia cannot begin to truly thrive as a modern nation until it allows the USSR to die. Only then can the spirit of the Russian people — so long beaten down by oppressive authority — revive itself to face the world on more optimistic terms.
Storm clouds were also gathering over the Russian economy well before the Ukraine crisis took hold late last year, with long-range official projections weakening alarmingly.
But Western sanctions over its role in Ukraine’s conflict have undermined it further. Russia now faces recession this year and countries with post-Soviet economic ties face the fallout as Kiev breaks away to the West. __ Crisis in Russian Orbitals
If there is any one reason why Russia is Doomed, it would have to be that “Russia” was not willing to allow “the USSR” to die, so that Russia might move beyond the crisis point and redefine itself as a nation among nations, with a viable future of cooperation and interdependency with other sovereign nations — including Ukraine, Georgia, and other former USSR satellites.
In late 2007, for example, the Kremlin outlined the objective of achieving and maintaining an average annual pace of economic growth in the decades ahead on the order of nearly 7 percent a year: on this path, according to Russian officials, GDP will quadruple in the next two decades, and the Russian Federation will emerge as the world’s fifth largest economy by 2020.
But history offers no examples of a society that has demonstrated sustained material advance in the face of long-term population decline. It seems highly unlikely that such an ambitious agenda can be achieved in the face of Russia’s current demographic crisis. Sooner or later, Russian leadership will have to acknowledge that these daunting long-term developments are shrinking their country’s social and political potential.
In 2008-2009, Russia suffered an 8 percent economic decline. Currently Russia’s economy has flatlined, and may easily look forward to future economic declines — unless the prices of oil & gas can be artificially pumped up and held up.
In his early years, Putin committed Russia to a future of ever-increasing dependency on natural resource exports. He squandered a golden opportunity to modernise Russia. So now, Putin’s authoritarian bombast and his ironclad control over the Russian future are all dependent upon his ability to raise global energy prices. That may be more than he can accomplish, short of a globally destructive war.
Russia is in the midst of its longest streak of declines in oil and gas production in years, its economy is in shambles and its leverage on the international stage is in question. With Putin clinging defiantly to the last threads of the Iron Curtain, it may be more than just Russia’s economic model that’s outdated. _ http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2014/05/05/shaken_gazprom_cant_fund_kremlins_geopolitical_goals.html
As long as Russia refuses to overcome its quasi-Soviet authoritarian delusions, the nation is doomed to depopulation and dissolution.