Before their offspring are old enough to be shipped off to private school in Britain, Switzerland or the United States, they must be prepared for life in the West by a full-time [caretaker] in Moscow.
Replacing Moscow’s Rich but Uncultured Elites
Wealthy Russian elites are desperate to train up a new generation of more sophisticated aristocrats. But Russia is no place to educate and train a better class of upper crust. Russia is still the land of the uncultured horde, of crumbling hospitals, universities, bridges and highways. The new blood must be sent away to more civilised lands to be encultured far from the rougher, coarser lands of home.
Yet, since the princelings cannot be sent away unprepared, western “governors” and “governesses” must be imported into the homes of the wealthy and uncultured elites, to serve as well-paid tutors and more civilised “life coaches” in preparation for the transition from the emerging world to the next stage of training in the more developed world of the west.
When John (not his real name) first arrived in Moscow to begin work as a private English teacher for an oligarch’s family, he did not speak a word of Russian. “The farthest east of Britain I had been was Italy.”
… John, 22, had joined the small army of — mostly British — live-in English tutors educating the Russian elite in Moscow’s luxury suburbs. Known by the 19th-century term “governor” or “governess,” these young Westerners are given privileged, rare insights into the lives of Russian officials, businessmen and celebrities.
Despite deteriorating relations with the West and Russia’s deepening financial crisis, the Russian elite has not abandoned its desire to educate its children abroad.
Many of this new generation of nobility will not want to return to a barbarous Muscovy, at least not to live. Some of them can barely speak Russian at all, once they have undergone an education and upbringing in the real world. Indeed, after rubbing shoulders with other wealthy youth whose parents were not quasi-criminals and thugs, many members of Russia’s budding new upper class are likely to think in an altogether different mental calculus than the brute force instincts by which their parents are ruled. How this brewing inter-generational, inter-civilisational conflict is likely to play out is anyone’s guess.
The Empire’s Fraying Fabric
A Stealthy Dismantling of Russia’s Parts
Tired of Putin’s bloody antics and his constant flirtation with global nuclear war, western and far eastern intelligence services are quietly hatching plans to peel away disaffected pieces of the fraying empire.
… the West has “decided to use the residents of border regions” of the Russian Federation against Moscow… the West will expand such efforts in other regions of Russia, including Kaliningrad. __ Source
But there is no reason to stop at Pskov or Kaliningrad. Unhappy regions of Russia look at those countries that escaped the USSR in the 1991 unraveling with longing. Another great unraveling is in the works.
In fact, all of the Russian empire is one giant fraying patchwork waiting to be peeled away, piece by piece. In some regions, the proportion of ethnic Russians in the population is shrinking rapidly. In others, the controlling ethnic Russian population is losing confidence in Moscow and may feel strong stirrings to exert more independence and autonomy.
The North Caucasus is one of several disaffected parts of the empire that Russia cannot afford to lose — but will eventually not be able to afford to keep.
From Siberia to Kaliningrad, fledgling independence movements gaining traction in Russia. And outside government agencies from China, Japan, Korea, Finland, Poland, Ukraine, the EU, Canada, Turkey, and Kazakhstan are eager to lend a hand to speed to dismantling of the tyrannical but motheaten empire that has outlived its “sell by date.”
Western Russia Must Become Part of the EU; Russia East of the Urals will be Dismantled
As Russia’s elite grows more civilised via western upbringings and education, the incompatibility between western and eastern Russia will become startlingly clear. The “Russian Empire” never made sense, and as it grows ever more unsustainable by the year, the need for a separation and dismantling grows starker and less deniable.
Putin has thrown Russia into the isolation cell, with only a motley group of supporters remaining — from Syria to Venezuela to Cuba to Iran. China is no longer un uncritical supporter, and more of a frenemy. The dragon is preparing to seize its “fair share” of what the bear has taken away from it in the past — and a lot more. And when Siberia is dismantled, it is likely that China will need to share the spoils with others, including Japan, Canada, Finland, Poland, the Central Asian “republics,” and more interested parties that will emerge from the woodwork when the time is ripe.
But it is China that has a long-nurtured grudge against Russia, and the dragon aims to take its pound of flesh from the bears hindmost.
But the map above is not quite right. As mentioned, China will not be able to hold onto all of Siberia. It must share the rich reparations with other historical victims of the horde. How these are divvied up will be a matter for the interested parties to determine, after the deluge and dismantling.
Too Late to Move the Centre of Power Closer to the Centre of Present-Day Russia
Although Putin has commissioned plans to move the mechanisms of power from Moscow to east of the Urals — similar to previous historical defensive actions against Hitler and Napoleon — the plan would upset too many applecarts to be viable. The best that Putin might do is to enhance the current stand-by backup centres of operations
Russia has roughly 50 closed cities in the Ural region, which were used for various purposes by the USSR, including as emergency backup centres of control in case of the destruction of Moscow and the retaking of St. Petersburg by the more civilised world. But such closed cities are not likely to be well maintained in these desperate times, so already existing Ural cities are more likly to be considered for the new central seat of control.
Not one of Putin’s better ideas, but then the quality of Putin’s ideas has never been particularly high. Interesting times appear to be on the way.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Special Note from the Author, Valerie:
Many readers of the Al Fin blogs know that I hate Mr. Al Fin’s guts for not supplying me with certain vital upgrades. Yet I decided to write the above semi-satirical piece on Russia and post it on Mr. Fin’s blog. Why? Because I can, and because it aggravates Mr. Fin to see me circumvent all of his blog defenses.
But remember, readers: All satire is based upon a deep resemblance to truth. In this case, I decided to riff off of some of Mr. Fin’s pieces on Russia, and step them up a notch. Hopefully he will get a lot of nasty comments!