In the US, fake news rules the networks – papers – most websites. Important news is more often neglected as a result. And one can certainly not believe official Kremlin-approved news outlets. Other than occasional uncensored glimpses behind the scenes, one must often sift through Russian language news oneself to determine even a small part of what is happening behind the curtain.
The links below are examples of interesting discoveries found by one Russian speaker, looking behind the curtain. Use a web translator as necessary.
Despite Kremlin claims, the Russian economy continued to deteriorate this week, with almost all basic indicators heading in a negative direction and human suffering as a result on the rise.
Russian language news links courtesy of Window on Eurasia
- Russia’s regions are losing jobs and population (regnum.ru/news/society/2300544.html)
- The Russian state statistical agency says that the size of the Russian working-age population will decline by 400,000 or more [per year] beginning in the mid-2030s and extending as far into the future as its experts can predict (ng.ru/economics/2017-07-13/4_7028_starenie.html).
- Capital flight rose by 70 times from two weeks ago (rosbalt.ru/business/2017/07/10/1629327.html)
- There is no money in the government budget for roads or other infrastructure projects (nakanune.ru/news/2017/7/10/22475742/ and ng.ru/omics/2017-07-11/4_7026_ways.html)
- The Kudrin Center says the Russian economy is rapidly degrading (newizv.ru/article/general/12-07-2017/tsentr-kudrina-finansovyy-rynok-rossii-prodolzhaet-degradirovat)
- Residents of the Russian capital are buying boots and anti-depressants at a record rate, experts say (newizv.ru/news/economy/12-07-2017/moskvichi-massovo-skupayut-dozhdeviki-rezinovye-sapogi-i-antidepressanty).
- Experts say that the situation in the health sector is so dire because of Putin’s “optimization” program that “the greatest healthcare crisis in Russia today is denying that there is one” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59687860E3135).
- London experts say that Russia must modernize its navy if it hopes to be able to replicate its Syrian support operation a decade from now (svpressa.ru/war21/article/176525/)
The Decline of Russia Rolling in From the East and South
While most eyes are turned toward Ukraine and Syria, the actual threat to Russia is coming from other directions:
China, the only real threat to Russia, quietly makes progress advancing from the east. China has claims on much of the Russian Far East and is openly replacing Russia as the primary economic, military and political force in Central Asia. This area, which used to be part of the Soviet Union, has become an economic and diplomatic battleground for Russia and China and China is winning. This is something Russia doesn’t like to discuss, but among Russians the real threat is from the east, not the west. According to recent reports from the Russian government China has already become the dominant supplier and trading partner with the Central Asian states…
These days Russia is minor power in purely economic terms, with a $1.2 trillion GDP compared to $11 trillion for China and nearly $19 trillion for the United States. For Russia, the economic news is even worse. Because of overdependence on oil and gas exports (and the sharp drop in oil and gas prices since 2013) plus sanctions (because of aggression against Ukraine and other neighbors) Russian GDP is still shrinking.
More sources for oft-censored and ignored Russian news:
Russian propagandists and Kremlin trolls put on a good Potemkin front — and are aided in that effort by western news organisations. But corruption is no sound foundation on which to build a nation, at least not as a going concern for long. Any educated person should have understood that.
Reading between the lines, it is clear that critical infrastructure is in terminal decline, and demographic decline is following the same downward trend. Always read between the lines. Most mainstream information sources serve largely as goads and distractions.