Mr. Putin’s Russia, Today

Turning Russia’s Neighbors into Enemies?

Putin has succeeded where centuries of Ukrainian nationalists failed: he has created a strong sense of [Ukrainian] national identity—and he has imbued it with deep anti-Russian sentiment. After Russia’s seizure of Crimea and some 10,000 dead in Donbass, that is easily understood.

… Hostility toward Moscow manifests itself in [many] ways. More Ukrainians now make a point to use Ukrainian rather than Russian. Harkening back to Moscow’s claim to a special right to protect ethnic Russians and Russians speakers, wherever they might be and regardless of their citizenship, a joke on the streets in Kiev is, “I’m afraid of speaking Russian now, because Putin might want to protect me.” __ Brookings

The same sentiments are easily seen across Eastern Europe and well into Central Asia. The people and government of Belarus are increasingly antagonistic toward Moscow, and the native peoples of Central Asia no longer bother to hide their hostility toward the ethnic Russians who still live amongst them.

And what is really happening inside Russia, that is not being reported on the mainstream? Warning: It isn’t pretty.

Russian Language News Links

Summary:

  • Educational and medical infrastructures in steep decline
  • Officials unconcerned about rising mortality
  • Illegal abortions rising
  • Fertility rates falling
  • Demographic Decline a “Perfect Storm”

List of free online webpage translators, useful for reading full Russian language articles linked below in your own language.

One Problem of Many
Source

Prison hospitals have been called “death factories” because so many die in them (lenta.ru/articles/2017/10/24/turma/). The intellectual degradation of the education system means that Russia will soon have a deficit of 10 million trained specialists, something the government doesn’t seem concerned about (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/10/24/1655638.html, newsland.com/community/4765/content/tak-vygliadit-degradatsiia-primer-vypusknykh-ekzamenov-po-matematike-1991-i-2016-godov/6046690, newsland.com/community/129/content/issledovanie-rossiiu-zhdet-defitsit-analitikov-i-tvorcheskikh-spetsialistov/6054111 and echo.msk.ru/news/2081178-echo.html).

The health minister of Sverdlovsk oblast says that rising mortality rates among older groups is a good thing because it reduces pressure on the pension fund (politsovet.ru/48652-ministr-zdravoohraneniya-smertnost-sredi-starikov-rastet-eto-horosho.html and babr24.com/msk/?IDE=166424). People in Vladimir Oblast have complained to Putin about the sad state of hospitals there (regnum.ru/news/society/2337536.html), and health experts say the rising number of maternal deaths in Russian villages reflects the growth in illegal abortions because of the absence of facilities, yet another a result of Putin’s optimization program (interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=68469).

A lack of polio vaccines threatens to spark a polio epidemic in Russia (ura.news/articles/1036272754). There is also a serious shortage of insulin in the Russian Far East (egnum.ru/news/society/2337077.html), and Russian pharmacy companies have stopped making needed but less profitable medicines (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59EDFE75C618C).

The Western sanctions regime and Russian counter-sanctions is pushing Russian demographic figures down, provoking outmigration, and helping to drive fertility rates down even faster than the rate of decline in the number of women in prime child-bearing cohorts (publizist.ru/blogs/108984/20964/- , kp.ru/daily/26746/3775003/ and spektr.press/cvety-zhizni-kak-v-latvii-reshayut-problemu-demografii/).

The construction industry is collapsing in many places (ng.ru/omics/2017-10-23/4_7100_kazna.html). Ever more companies are unprofitable (newsland.com/community/4109/content/rossiia-putina-dolia-ubytochnykh-organizatsii-na-rf-vyrosla-na-tret/6054733), and many others are losing confidence that they will soon return to growth (lenta.ru/news/2017/10/27/noconfidence/).

Russian consumption levels fell more between 2014 when Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine and 2016 than they did during the entire 1990s. As a result, Russia has seen its consumption decline in the last three years more than all the countries of the world except for Congo, Zimbabwe, and its victim Ukraine (cho.msk.ru/blog/aillar/2079346-echo/).

___ More links to Russian language news stories

These Russian language news stories do not fit the mainstream narrative — in fact they do not really fit any particular narrative very well. When we step away from our preconceptions and face cold realities, we learn that the world is much messier the more deeply we look.

Is Putin Descending into Madness?

Putin’s long and risky good-bye

Petersburg “troll factory” update

Russian military buildup hampered by corruption and mismanagement

Time to Liberate Russian Girls and Women

Saving Russia’s girls and young women from Mr. Putin’s gulag has never been more urgent.

To a Better World

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