Clashes within the elite were bound to intensify as the pie to be shared shrinks due to the economic crisis. The number of such conflicts has grown rapidly since 2014: for example the nationalisation of oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s crown jewel – Bashneft oil company – in 2014, the forced resignation of Vladimir Yakunin as head of the state-owned railway company in 2015, and two arrests in six months that year of governors accused of corruption : Alexander Khoroshavin of Sakhalin and Vyacheslav Gaizer of Komi. __ http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR_166_PUTINS_DOWNFALL.pdf
In the early 2020s, the New Cold War will end when the economic strain and political pressure on Russia, coupled with Russia’s declining population, and poor infrastructure, cause the Federal government of Russia to completely collapse, much like the Dissolution of the Soviet Union. Other former Soviet Union countries will fragment as well.
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.
Russia’s deepening demographic crisis has become so dire that only censorship of actual statistics, and bald-faced lies and denials, can keep the generally drunken rubes from arriving at the inevitable conclusion that Russia’s clock is ticking down toward the end.
• Low fertility rate: It’s about 1.7 births per woman, lower than the 2.1 per woman needed for population replacement. That’s better than the 1.2 rate from the late 1990s, but still.
• Men dying super young: A boy born in Russia today is expected to live to approximately age 64. That’s 15 years less than in Germany, Sweden, or Italy.
• A lot of HIV/AIDS: 700,000 Russians were living with HIV/AIDS in 2013, a 5% increase over 2012. The Irish Times reports that in five years, three million people (or a full 2%) of the population are expected to be carrying the virus. Worse, the Russian government just announced it’s going to ban the import of foreign condoms.
• A skyrocketing number of drug addicts: Russia’s Federal Drug Control Serviceestimates that the country had 2.5 million drug addicts in 2010. In 2013, it was at 8.5 million.
• Little government spending on public health: “In terms of health expenditure per capita, Russia ranks near the bottom among OECD countries – spending $1,474 in 2012, compared with the OECD average of $3,484,” Chamie and Mirkin write.
Equally striking, life expectancy in Russia is growing slower than just about every other advanced economy in the world. A study published in August in The Lancet medical journal found that from 1990 to 2013, the life expectancy in Russia grew by 1.8 years, compared with the global average of a 6.2 year increase. The Moscow Times reports that this puts Russia in the 108th position for life expectancy growth, in a disreputable sandwich between North Korea and Iraq.
When all these demographic factors come together, there aren’t enough people around to earn money and support the rest of the country.
In Russia, the working age population — the number of folks aged 15 to 60 that can go to work — is collapsing.
Things are only getting worse as the dark storm clouds of Putin’s fiasco close in on a drunken, unsuspecting mafia-infested state of corruption.