“Russian authorities have been consistently claiming during the past several months that the economic crisis in Russia has bottomed out,” the paper states. “However, a brief analysis of the raw data from the Russian economy, and the most realistic patterns of development of the situation, suggests that the crisis is not only far from over – it is actually only in the beginning phase, meaning that the economy has every chance of being further dragged into a strong downward spiral.”
Russia’s economy depends on oil like life depends on oxygen. It represents at least 15 percent of Russia’s GDP. On Wednesday, Russia’s leading economists gathered to hear Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev’s predictions for the state budget, that was calculated on the basis of $50 per barrel of Urals oil. But the price is more like $30 per a barrel.
52 percent of Russians believe that the “hardest times” are ahead. __ Exsanguinating Life’s Blood
A Death Spiral of Corrupt Incompetence Leading to Collapse
A prominent European think tank contends that the Russian economy may be entering into a death spiral, driven by a combination of factors, including low energy prices, government mismanagement, a collapse in the Russian ruble’s value and Western sanctions. __ http://www.eurasianet.org/node/76766
In his greed and mendacious incompetence, Putin has squandered several golden opportunities to reform the rotting corpse of the USSR into a vibrant, broad-based and innovative economic entity. Instead, he has chosen a path of ever-deepening corruption and ever-limiting centralisation.
Something like this has happened before, once upon a time in Russia. Even without the help of an acquisitive China-beyond-the-rickety-fence, Putin’s Russia is flirting with collapse — and disintegration.
It would not be the first time that Russia tried aggression and expansion as a defence against modernisation and by doing so undermined its own territorial integrity. In 1904, when Russia was on the verge of a revolution, Nicholas II attempted to stave off change by looking for national traitors and starting a small war with Japan. The war ended a year later in Russia’s defeat and 12 years later the tsarist Russian empire faded away in a few days. In 1979, as Communist rule struggled under the weight of its own contradictions, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan; 12 years later the Soviet Union collapsed just as suddenly.
The ethnic Russian populations across the broad frozen expanse are failing to replace themselves. High proportions of ethnic Russians are addicted to cheap spirits, drugs, and chronic melancholia. Russian women hate Russian men, and Russian men have no respect for Russian women. In a colonial regime such as imperial Russia, the failure to reproduce is usually fatal.
Inside what is still referred to as “Russia,” the forces of centrifugal fragmentation are at work
Hundreds of millions of Chinese are looking for better opportunities, new frontiers, clean and fertile soils, pure waters, and air that can be breathed without shortening one’s life. The “Russian” far east stands ready and near.
Ethnic Russian populations of Siberia are shrinking, and pulling back to the Urals and beyond. The void will be filled by opportunity-seekers.
China’s government is being pushed to the brink by its own economic mismanagement. Fortunately, China has neighbors whose natural resources can be plundered for the good of the Party elite.
Meanwhile, in Russia proper, the suffering only worsens. Even in Moscow — the great looter of all of Russia — the people are feeling the pain.
Things will get much worse before getting better. If they ever get better.