Thursday, August 19, 2010

Russian Doom

How comparable are the destinies of Russia and CCCP? Here is long term doom prognosis for Russia.

(Article by De Bătăiosu, visit the link to the original article in Romanian language)


Provided that Russian discontent grows from day to day under the pressure of economic crisis and infighting in the Kremlin intensifies, it becomes increasingly obvious that Russia's political elite can not cope with these problems.

The situation is so dramatic that Andrew Wood, former British ambassador to Russia, now contributor Chatham House, explained in a report of which "some of the factors in the early eighties showed that the Soviet Union would not survive can be observed now. "

Like always in Russian history, notes Radio Free Europe, is a conflict between the need to modernize the economy and the desire of elites to maintain political control. The latter wins, of course, at the expense of modernization, stabilization and reforms.

Andrew Wood brings ten arguments in support of its contention:

1. Putin / Medvedev. There shall be no change in this tandem, especially as President Medvedev has no enough supporters, nor his desire to gain freedom of action. Both fear that any substantial movement at the top will break the current power structure.

2. Elections in 2012. Decision who will run for president, unless radical changes are made in the meantime, depends on who you think is the best placed by the end of 2011 to defend the current elite. For now, it seems to be little platforms and current duo does not seem to resist the mandate period 2012-2018.

3. Next president. However, it is not chiseled in stone as the next president will be Putin and Medvedev much less. Although affected by the impression that Putin seems indispensable, are becoming more and more people see it as a problem rather than as a solution. Not be ruled out another candidate with great support among the current regime - the current Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov seems a viable alternative.

4. 2010/2011. Oil sold at a price of 75-80 dollars is good, but not enough to validate recovery from economic crisis. The Russian government bought out of trouble keeping the status quo and increasing social spending. This year's budget deficit is heading towards a serious and unemployment can not be held indefinitely under control. State involvement in the economy is higher than in 2008 and Russia's prospects is obvious dependence unpredictable global economy.

5. Energy. Gazprom is not so profitable as before and Russian energy markets fell. Country need to make serious investments in energy is obvious.

6. Modernization. GDP growth in 2010 was estimated at about 5% (compared to the year 2009 crisis). But long-term prospects for Russia to become more than a resource dependent country without radical changes are very weak and everyone feels it.

7. Medvedev. President of the identified risk, but his solutions are inappropriate. Bottom-up reforms rarely work, especially as we are talking about a huge country, a poorly organized and deeply corrupt government machine. Medvedev believes that salvation will come from energy conservation, developing new fuels, technology and medicines, nuclear energy, IT and telecommunications space. However remember the times when the USSR leadership hoped that the magic of computers (which they were not too) will save planning the center.

8. Problem. Authorities would like (similar to their Soviet predecessors) economic dynamism without renewal policy. It is impossible, because the economic and power structures are interconnected. For example, Crisis measures were aimed at keeping large enterprises where the ruling elite had a direct interest.

9. Prospects. Logically, there are not too happy. Political elite will continue to put above political stability than economic reform. No visible changes that would open "vertical of power '. Perhaps it is no longer possible after the successful attempt in 2008 failed. Putin's return to power in 2012 would underline mainstreaming current political system.

10. However ... I hope it will return to the years of abundance (compared to the present) of Putin's presidency is still widespread. But doubts are widespread. Perhaps Medvedev has no answers or the power to implement a credible program, but that has raised some problems, and even sounded the alarm about Russia's future long-term means to create a space for public debate Widespread on measures to be taken to ensure the country's prosperity or even survival. (Ziare.com)

A. Bermen, Vice President of American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, said that Russia has returned to the international political arena, "but all the Kremlin's bravado does nothing to conceal the fact that the country which replaced the former USSR is plunged into a demographic and social-economic Faux Pas Fatal".

Middle of the century XXI, Russian population will drop to 100 million and by 2080 (according to forecast made by the Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov) it could reach only 52 million people. Demographic crisis will be generated by two dominant factors - high birth rate among Russian Muslims and bad strategic balance in relation to China, the author wrote for The Washington Times.

A weakened Russia will find it more difficult to control the Far East where its main natural resources are concentrated. Chinese population in Russian border counties already surpassed several times the number of Chinese in Chinese districts bordering to Russia. "It is possible that China was trying to satisfy the needs of raw material by scanning the northern direction?"

Looking ahead, Russia would be dangerous not because of his power but rather because of his weakness, concludes the author.

According to the balance of 2009, the total population of Russia has increased. The main factor influencing this statistic is migration. Following the migration, the population increased by 250,000 people and the future is forecast to reach 300,000.

Recently, Prime Minister Putin said that the natural decline of population has fallen by 31% in 2009, as informed by RIA Novosti.

Besides the economic, social and demographic facing Russia, the problem appeared on the horizon: American antimissile system.

Received at first with some reserve, the announcement of President Traian Basescu on hosting missile shield elements (about 20 interception) by Romania has triggered violent reactions from Russia, with all insurance officials in Bucharest as "shield is not directed against Russia ", Moscow believes that the U.S. missile shield deployment in Europe is directed against Russia.

"Despite statements of Heads of State of Western countries, according to which the system is designed to ensure their security and is not directed against Russia, our position on this issue is very negative," said, on February 9, Chief of General Staff Russian Armed Forces, General Nikolai Makarov, live on television channel "Vesti-24. "The development of missile defense weakens our potential unequivocal nuclear deterrent and would be a mistake to not keep account of this system," said Makarov.

This position was reiterated on Wednesday by voice when the same Russian general, Moscow believes that the U.S. missile shield deployment in Europe is a threat to Russia. "Effectively, it is a threat to us. This unit aims not only to protect against air strikes although we have not ever talked about it", he said. "We fear that this system is directed against Russia," said Makarov.

Moreover, Russia's new military doctrine consider installing American missile shield in Europe as a threat to national security, as well as desires of expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe.

Less diplomatic proved Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, who has released a warning on his Twitter account to the "U.S. and its allies, saying," Bear "Russian will" give kick ass " in case of an attempt to encompass, in a reference to U.S. missile system.

"Americans and their allies will again cave to encircle the Russian bear?" Says the diplomat, in a first message.

"How many times must be reminded that this is dangerous? Bear will come and give them a kick in the ass these hunters miserable, "continues in a second message, Rogozin, who is known for his incisive statements.

But the last response came from Alexander Pikaev, chief regulatory Disarmament and Conflict at the Institute for International Relations and World Economy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who said during a video conference Chisinau-Moscow, installation of a missile system in Romania could be mistaken by Russia as an attack on its territory and it could respond with nuclear attack.

"Commissioning of such missiles could be regarded as a missile directed against Russian territory, and in this case Russia will be obliged to give an answer, which could also be nuclear because it is hard to distinguish what type of rocket is that, the attack or defense", said Pikaev.

More trenchant proved Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Late last year he said that Russia needs a military strategy to resist U.S. and other Western powers who encourage anarchy in the North Caucasus to destroy Russia.

Latest riots turned Kremlin to believe that the August 2008 attack on U.S. ally, the breakaway region of South Ossetia is part of a Western plot to seize the entire Caucasus.

"If you control the Caucasus, you can say that will control virtually all Russia, because the region is the backbone," Kadyrov says. "The Russian government must develop a strategy and must attack", scores Chechen leader.

"In Georgia, South Ossetia, Ukraine... all these will continue. Russia's misfortune is private. Why must we always suffer if we can eradicate it forever. We are a great power, with all-military technology. We must attack. "

In addition, he emphasizes that the West is financing and arming the rebels left. "Officially declare this: those who destroyed the Soviet Union are behind those those who want to destroy the Russian Federation."

Do we expect Russia to be encircled and attacked the West? If the location of missile shield is a threat to Moscow's security, then the bear will feel entitled to attack and will not be rushed directly to the hunter.

1 comment:

  1. I am Ukrainian and really disappointed about the image of Russia in the eyes of the author. So much negative stuff and all those quotations and depressing moods....image of an angry bear that is ready to nuke surrounding hunters. I cant say Russia is a problem free country but it is not a Soviet Union of 1970s` <----fact. I was born in 1990 and grew up in a free country, I said what I want about the government in high school and nobody put me in jail for that.(they would definitely do during the communism). Average people are not strawing, buy houses, drive brand new cars,have good education, free health care, supermarkets are full of products etc. Yes, our East European still have economic issues, but government fixes them, it takes time, countries are only 21 years old since the fall of the Union. And Russia is not doomed, it still has friends among Ukraine (40+ million people), Belarus(around 10 millions). In this article you even try to talk about Kadirov suggesting to attack. Who is Kadirov?!? he is a toy, little boss in far eastern Chechen republic, since when his opinion determines the foreign policy of Russia?! Yes it does not want to lose a control of Caucasus to proamerican government of Georgia ...but did not USA did the same thing with Iraq and tries to do with Iran? Who is a bear that came out of the cave for a hunt now? And by the way I dont want to say that russian government is perfect or saint in everything...but definitely it is not as bad as you bring it up to the western society. But time will show everything and as they say in my country you will end up *putting your tongue in your own ass* (sry I don t try to be rude here...just an expression) ;)

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