“Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.” The government kept the Roman populace happy by distributing free food and staging huge spectacles. __ Dictionary.com
Putin has taken a similar approach to placating the Russian people, with the exception that Putin substitutes “war” in place of “bread.”
To Fund 2018 World Cup, Putin Robs Russia’s Schools and Hospitals
Like the ruinously expensive Sochi Olympics before it, the 2018 World Cup is shaping up to be another circus of destruction for Russia.
Russian regional governments are being asked to come up with ever more money from their own budgets to pay for the construction or reconstruction of stadiums that will allow Moscow to host the 2018 World Cup. To do so, they are being forced to divert money from the construction of schools and hospitals. __ WindowonEurasia2
Stripping budgets meant for schools and hospitals to pay for grandly extravagant gestures and wars is something we are coming to expect from the Putin regime. Other vital infrastructures that are being stripped to fund Putin’s grand Potemkin farce include transportation, badly needed rebuild of pipelines, housing, and the cleanup of fouled water, soil, and air.
In St. Petersburg:
… officials will cut 505 million rubles of funding for the construction of six schools, 313 million rubles allocated to build seven nursery schools, and approximately 1 billion rubles set aside for building seven hospitals and clinics, the document said.
Across other areas of Russia, the stripping away of support from important infrastructure in order to pay for extravagant empty gestures, is even worse proportionately.
As far as entertaining the Russian population with wars, what does it gain?
… the Russian attack on Ukraine did not cause Ukraine to fall apart (as the official Russian line went) but actually unified Ukraine and made it stronger.
In the meantime Russia became weaker. By mid-2015 Russian leaders were openly admitting this. The Russian prime minister (Dmitry Medvedev) recently gave a public speech before the Russian parliament, details of which were distributed nationwide by the state controlled media. Medvedev admitted that the military operations in Ukraine had cost Russia over $100 billion so far and would probably cost more before it is all over. He also mentioned that the sanctions made it impossible to borrow abroad. Russians also know that over $150 billion in cash held by Russian businesses has left the country because the owners felt this money would be safer abroad. __ Risks of Russian Wars
Putin got away with his invasion of Georgia and his occult conquest of Crimea. Blowback from his misadventures in eastern Ukraine are becoming legend:
Weapons flooding back into Russia from Donbass, fueling violent crime in Russia. This blowback into Russia from Donbass has been going on for years now, and is only likely to get worse. Russia’s fractured allies in Donbass fight among themselves and even against Russians in east Ukraine.
It is taking the Russian people longer than one might expect to catch on to the grandiose Putin neo-imperial shenanigans, but as premature death follows premature death, the dwindling survivors of Putin’s war on the people are learning regret and an expanding despair from these destructive wars and circuses.
More rarely heard stories from the heart of Putin’s darkness (from WOE2):
Russian Standard of Living Now Back to 1989 Levels. After rising in the first decade of this century to 15 percent more than at the end of Soviet times, the real standard of living Russians now have has fallen back 15 percent over the last three years and now stands just where it did in 1989, according to Russian economists (ttolk.ru/2016/08/18/уровень-жизни-россиян-вернулся-к-1989-год/). Other bad economic news this week included reports that Russia is permanently losing millions of jobs (ng.ru/economics/2016-08-16/1_job.html), that the decline in industrial production has resumed and even accelerated (slon.ru/posts/72059), that the elections may accelerate the country’s economic collapse (rufabula.com/author/alina-vituhnovskaya/1306), and that ever fewer Russians are applying for passports to travel abroad (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=57B5634A718F6). Of course, this last may have another explanation: Russians may not want to attract attention to their desire to leave Russia today.
German Journalist Says Potholes in Russian Roads Reduce Highway Deaths There. A [German] journalist has praised one of the things that most Russians condemn: the horrific state of Russian roads. He says that the potholes that mar most of the highways there are good things because they force drivers to go more slowly and thus reduce the number of traffic deaths (vesti.ru/doc.html?id=2787497&cid=520). Meanwhile, Moscow has announced plans to increase the length of toll roads in Russia from 500 kilometers now to 2,000 by 2020. No word on whether these will be pothole free and thus more dangerous, however (1prime.ru/mainnews/20160813/826370075.html).
Infant Mortality Up in Crimea Since Russian Anschluss. Infant mortality is one of the most sensitive measures of how a society deals with its most defenseless. Since Russia occupied Crimea, deaths among newborns have shot up (rosbalt.ru/russia/2016/08/14/1540762.html).
Across southern Russia young girls being mutilated with Putin’s tacit blessing