In Putin’s Russia, a Perfect Zero out of Ten
With the grave situation for defenders of human rights and democracy growing worse in 2009, Nations in Transit findings show that over the past decade, Russia has undergone the largest decline of any country in the study of 29 countries in the former Communist states of Europe and Eurasia.
– Freedom House, Nations in Transit 2010
The latest report from Freedom House on the progress of “post-Soviet” nations has once again determined that Russia is by far the most backwards and oppressive nation in that benighted region. Nobody vaguely familiar with this blog can be surprised, of course, since we’ve often documented (see the “rating Russia” category in our sidebar) how Russia lags behind the entire world no matter what criteria are used to judge it.
After the jump, we review Russia’s most recent scores from ten separate international ratings agencies across a wide range of social, economic and political criteria. In every single one of them, the Putin regime is deemed an absolute failure. Not only does Russia fail to score as high as the top 50% in any category ranging from life expectancy to societal violence, Russia does not even break into the top 35% on one single occasion.
When only one study is at issue, a Russian propagandist can easily claim “Russophobia” and dismiss the results. That becomes more difficult when two or three different studies from different parts of the world with different staffs of experts reach the same conclusion.
But, we believe, when ten different studies are presented, no thinking reasonable person can escape the conclusion that the government of Vladimir Putin is an abject disaster. It’s not our opinion, it’s documented scientific fact.
Here are the results ranked by Russia’s performance starting with the best, showing the category, Russia’s precise score, it’s relative location in the group and the source of the study (a study of at least 100 other countries was required to be included):
Ease of Doing Business 122/183
Bottom 34% Doing Business
Economic Prosperity 69/104
Bottom 34% Legatum
Economic Reform 120/181
Bottom 34% World Bank
Life Expectancy 137/195
Bottom 30% CIA/United Nations
Quality of Life 108/143
Bottom 25% Happy Planet
Economic Freedom 143/183
Bottom 22% Heritage Foundation
Political Freedom 142/193
Bottom 21% Freedom House
Bottom 19% Transparency International
Press Freedom 153/175
Bottom 13% Reporters without Borders
Bottom 6% Vision of Humanity
The first three results are surely the most devastating to Russia. Three different highly-respected international organizations rate Russia on three different sets of criteria and compare them to a group of over 100 other nations, and the result in each case is exactly the same: Russia finds itself in the bottom 34% of all countries on the planet, gaping upwards at two-thirds of the world. Also telling are the ratings Russia gets from two different highly-respected think tanks for economic and political freedom. Again, the results are almost identical in terms of Russia’s relative position in the group.
There are lots of other criteria that could be examined, and they’d predictably show the same results. For instance, in Reducing Maternal Mortality Russia’s score is 98/181 (Bottom 46%, source United Nations).
Then again, being in the bottom 10% of all world nations when judged for peacefulness and civilization may say all you need to know about Putin’s Russia.
One can, of course, also look systemmatically at Russian performance on its own terms. That’s what Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov have been doing for years now with their white paper series, showing how Russia continues to deterioriate under the the malignant KGB rule of the Putin regime, socially, politically and economically.
Then there are smaller-scale surveys ranging from how much Russians are forced to pay at IKEA to how inclined Russians are to take bribes. Here again the scores are exactly the same, For instance:
Hostility to Women 38/43 (Bottom 12%)
IKEA Prices 25/28 (Bottom 11%)
Place to be an Expat 24/26 (Bottom 8%)
Bribe-Taking 22/22 (Bottom 1%)
Comparing Russia one-one-one to a really successful country like the United States yields results that are so appalling it seems almost unfair to do so. Russia’s rate of abortion is double that of the United States and it’s suicide rate is also double. One American produces on average five times more value each year than a Russian. Each employed Russian contributes just $16,100 to the country’s gross domestic product, compared with a whopping $74,600 in the United States. An average American donates twelve times more to charity each year than an average Russian; since productivity is only five times greater, that means each American is more than twice as generous as each Russian. Twenty times more Russian women are murdered by their husbands than American women. Twenty times more.
This is not just a wave of data, it’s a tsunami. No matter who judges Russia, no matter the context, Russia comes up woefully short, indeed very close to the bottom of the pack. It is a total failure as a nation by any criteria you choose to name, and seems hellbent on yet another national collapse.