Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev Rolling in their Graves!
Pianos (!) are no longer being produced in Russia, forcing those who wish to buy them to pay a sinking-rouble premium — as for most other things which must now be imported using hard currency. Source Few things of quality are made inside Russia anymore. Unfortunately, Russians are reacting to hardship by retreating into their shells, rather than taking dynamic steps to make themselves more self-sufficient and more capable as a nation.
When Putin threw Russia into the isolation tank, he expected the motherland to become more self-sufficient, not less!
Russian Bridges Falling Down, Falling Down, Falling Down . . .
In the spirit of frenemy komradeship, Russian bridges and buildings have joined their Chinese counterparts in collapsing and self-destructing in spectacular fashion.
Russian officials are scrambling to cope with the latest case of the failure of Russian infrastructure: “an epidemic” of collapsing bridges in the Far East (newizv.ru/lenta/2016-03-25/236586-polpred-dfo-trutnev-prizval-razobratsja-v-epidemii-s-padeniem-mostov.html).
How Do They Know if They Do Not Test for It?
Two Percent of Pregnant Urals Residents HIV Infected. Doctors say that one in every 50 pregnant women in the Urals is HIV infected (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=56F3A1549DDD0). But journalists report that there is no money for HIV/AIDS testing there, so the situation may be even worse (ura.ru/articles/1036267370).
An estimated two million Russians are infected with HIV across the empire, but the number may be much higher. Most parts of Russia can not afford to test for HIV, and even in the case of a positive result they cannot afford to treat the infection or the subsequent acquired immune deficiency. This epidemic strikes the young — the part of the Russian population that Putin cannot afford to squander. Increasingly resistant infections have swept out of hellish Russian prisons, through the gay and drug injecting populations, and are now pouring into Russia’s population at large with no clear plan to stop them. At least Russia’s elite are doing well.
Russian Economic Crisis Threatens Worse Consequences to Russia
The Russian economy is locked in an especially bad crisis. It differs significantly from the crises of 1998 and 2008-2009, when rapid downturns were followed by equally rapid recoveries. If anything, the current crisis more closely resembles that of the early 1990s, when Russia was transitioning from a planned to a market economy. Although salaries fell further then — by more than 50 percent — the same institutional problems caused both crises. The norms and rules now in place in the Russian economy are blocking its further development, just as they did back then.
In true Orwellian fashion, Putin’s Kremlin has taken to destroying KGB archives — so that no one will be able to contradict the Kremlin’s “revised” version of history. (see link above for more information and sources) It takes a lot of willful ignorance and stupidity to admire people of that sort.
Russia is Weaker Than You Think
By bombing Syria, Putin shot his way to the negotiating table like a cowboy shoots his way to the bar in a Western. Syria not only surpassed Ukraine as a focus of Western attention ― it also brought the Kremlin to the negotiating table: Putin wants to trade concessions in Syria for the lifting of sanctions and softening of the West’s stance on Ukraine. However, these bold moves to attain the perception of parity are also a cover-up for a Russia that is weak and getting weaker. Here’s why.
… From 2014 to 2015, the ruble was devalued by 24 percent, buying power fell by 20 percent, and there was a 3.7 percent decrease in Russia’s GDP.
While oil and gas production remained flat, dollar revenues from gas exports were 29 percent lower in the first half of 2015 than in the first half of 2014. Revenues from oil exports were also 1.75 times lower.
Russia has failed to diversify its economy. No new industries have been created and expats are leaving in droves. The number of expats from the United States and Western Europe fell 34 percent between January 2014 and January 2015.
Nepotism is rampant. First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin’s son was set to manage the property department of the Ministry of Defense. The sons of senior Russian security chiefs occupy key positions: National Council Chairman Nikolai Patrushev’s sons are in the Russian Agricultural Bank and GazpromNeft. Foreign Intelligence Head and former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has one son in Vnesheconombank and another is the Deputy Manager of Presidential Affairs. Putin’s Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov’s son heads Sogaz, the second biggest insurance company in Russia, which insures giants such as Gazprom.
Russians are leaving the country. In the first eight months of 2014, 203,000 people left, almost surpassing the 1999 record of 215,000, after the economy had tanked.
Meanwhile, Russia’s social systems, including education and health care, are faring more poorly than usual. As Russia’s cash-strapped regions struggle, an increasing number of government employees will be affected by a new health care law. In January, protesters took to the streets in Moscow to oppose a new healthcare reform that included unexpected hospital closings and mergers.
The destruction of what little remains of Russia’s pluralistic political space and the purge of its remaining liberals continues. At times this is as scandalous as it is bizarre. The Russian media recently denounced a recent opposition meeting in Vilnius as a gathering of the “future US occupation administration.” Nikita Mikhalkov, an influential movie director and a hardliner close to Putin’s circle, called for the state to prosecute Gorbachev and Yeltsin for treason. The Russian Orthodox Church has called for revisions to the high school literature curriculum, including elimination of some works by playwright Anton Chekhov. Lastly, in a move worthy of the Iranian ayatollahs, the Russian Ministry of Culture had black stickers placed on an exhibition poster of paintings by Hieronymus Bosch.
The weakness of Putin’s Russia extends far more deeply than the above memo suggests. Weakness now penetrates the very core of Putin’s neo-tyrannical rulership of a once-great people.
Russia’s Fall-Back Last Ditch Supporter is Having Existential Problems of Its Own
… in China, the outstanding amount of total credit to the private sector has surged 300% from the end of December 2008…
… analysts will be paying close attention to possible defaults of businesses with a high debt-to-asset ratio. Companies in the metal, resources, properties and building materials sectors are particularly susceptible.
Likewise, total credit to Chinese households expanded to roughly $4 trillion in 2015 due to increasing mortgage loans. The figure was up sharply from $800 billion logged around 2008.
… “China’s financial system could become unstable because of deflation, which could affect [economies in] Japan, the U.S. and Europe,” said Hiroshi Miyazaki, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
The more likely scenario for China — rather than deflation — is an all out credit binge that will lead to consequences for the global economy that will be incalculably more profound than the 2007 – 2009 global financial slowdown. When the crash hits, China had best be in a position to seize hard assets that it has been eyeing from Russia to Southeast Asia to Africa to Latin America to Central Asia. In other words, the great global financial crash-to-come will be about many more things than mere economics and finance. It will be about bloody manifest destiny, blut und boden — and collecting overseas debts by force, if necessary. Putin has played the hand that Beijing has dealt it, precisely as the CPC might have wished.
Most observers cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, much less imagine the planning of a large-scale strategic geopolitical move under cover of an engineered global economic crash. Throw in a few EMPs over population centres of inconvenience, and you have the makings of a spectacular global scale putsch und blitzkrieg, as necessary. Russia will never know what hit her.
There are other explanations for why the CPC is spending China into self-destruction at the same time it is frantically building its ground – air – sea – cyber – and space military branches, and centralising them all under the control of one man. Stealth movements into Siberia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the foreign colonies of Africa and Latin America (esp. Venezuela) may be simple coincidence. Keep telling yourself that and you truly come to believe it.
Regardless, Russia is Taking All the Steps Necessary to be Caught Totally by Surprise
The Kremlin is becoming fatally dependent upon Beijing for financing, for political support, for medicines, for advanced technology of all kinds, for military components and manufacturing — even for the missile guidance systems for its deteriorating nuclear missile fleet. China is no doubt inserting backdoor systems into every critical component it is supplying to Russia, which will allow Beijing to control any Russian response to any aggressive outside move.
The world, for the most part, is likely to be taken entirely by surprise. Too, too bad. Things are developing much more quickly than most people are capable of observing and analysing.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
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