Category Archives: rating russia

EDITORIAL: Non-Competitive Russia

EDITORIAL

Non-Competitive Russia

It’s that time of year again, and the World Economic Forum has once again released its Global Competitivness Index.

Russia dropped three places to #66 on the list, significantly worse than its position on the list of nations ranked by nominal GDP per capita (#56).  Countries like Vietnam, Uruguay and Panama are all more economically competitive than Russia. The USA is #5 on the list.

Of course, you really don’t need the WEF to tell you Russia is not competitive. Just walk into the nearest store and see if you find any Russian products there. Should you find them, see if it’s something you’d consider buying. You’ll quickly see that in terms of consumer products the nation of Russia does not even really exist at all.

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EDITORIAL: Greedy, Heartless Russians

EDITORIAL

Greedy, Heartless Russians

“In the United States, 90 percent of the population regularly donates to charities. For an American to give a portion of their income to charity is the most natural thing. We can only dream of such an attitude here.”

–Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova, a founder of Russia’s leading charity organization, the Give a Life foundation

Any time you compare Russia to America, the result is that Russia comes out looking like a third-world country on the brink of collapse.  Take charities, for example.   The most well-supported American charity by the American public is the Salvation Army, which every year collects public donations well in excess of $1.5 billion. Every one of the top 18 American charities ranked by income collects at least $100 million in public donations. Since Russia’s economy is only one-tenth the size of America’s, you would expect the top Russian charity to receive about $150 million in yearly public support.  But the Give a Life foundation, Russia’s best performer, doesn’t even get close to raking in $5 million per year.

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EDITORIAL: Russia’s 2011 Report Card

EDITORIAL

Russia’s 2011 Report Card

Using the typical scale for applying letter grades to students (90-100% correct is an “A” and 80-89% correct is a “B” and 70-79% correct is a “C” and 60-69% correct is a “D” and anything below 60% correct is failing), we have once again prepared Russia’s national report card based on an array of international tests and evaluations imposed over the last twelve months.

The tests come from a stunning array of international experts, ranging from the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation to the ultra-liberal New Economics Foundation, and everything in between from the Committee to Protect Journalists to Transparency International.  No matter who does the scoring, Russia doesn’t receive one single grade as high as a C minus.  In fact, Russia’s highest grade is  D-, and in 13 tries it only managed one of those.  One D and twelve Fs, more than half of which reflect a score of less than 25%, meaning that three-quarters or more of world nations are better than Russia.  Russia only makes the top half of the world in a measely two categories.  Time for the dunce cap, Russia!

Here are the results beginning with Russia’s best results and scrolling down to its very worst (with the letter grade after each subject, followed by Russia’s “percent correct” — i.e., the percentage of countries that Russia’s score was better than — and its class rank):

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EDITORIAL: Non-Competitive Russia

EDITORIAL

Non-Competitive Russia

China #27

India #51

Brazil #58

Russia #63

Once again, the World Economic Forum has found Russia to be bringing up the rear when surveyed for economic competitiveness and compared to the other nations in the so-called BRIC group.  At #63, Russia’s rating remained totally unchanged from last year, no increase in competitiveness whatsoever. Well outside even the top 50 world nations, Russia is languishing in a backwater that gives it absolutely no basis for inclusion in lofty assemblages like the G-8 and the Security Council.

Russia’s growth rate in the first quarter of 2011 was half that of India and China, and it has the highest corruption perception rating of any BRIC nation.

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EDITORIAL: Putin the Road Hog

EDITORIAL

Putin the Road Hog

Yet another international survey, yet another laughable, failing, third-world score for Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

This time, it was roads.

According to the World Economic Forum, Russia’s rank among world nations for quality of roads is a shocking #124.  The Moscow Times reports that  “data published by the World Bank suggests that Putin did not prioritize road construction during his rule, with spending on roads falling to 1.5 percent in 2009, compared with 3.5 percent spent by China, from 2.8 percent of GDP in 2000.”

This is just one more example of the absolute failure of leadership by the Putin regime.  While Putin has ignored Russia’s roads and spent money on cold-war provocation (and personal graft for his network of palaces), Russians have continued to favor him with sky-high approval ratings in polls.  As such, Russians get exactly the roads they deserve.

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EDITORIAL: Vampire Moscow

EDITORIAL

Vampire Moscow

Recently revealed facts about life in the city of Moscow are truly shocking.

A report by Cushman & Wakefield reveals that retail spending by residents of Moscow is more than twice as high as for the rest of the country and fifty percent higher than the national average for Germany or Great Britain.

The reason is simple:  Like a vampire, Moscow is slurping the nation’s blood at an alarming rate.  Moscow has a stunning concentration of billionaires who spend their wealth at an obscene rate because they know it can be taken away at a moment’s notice by the neo-Soviet regime.

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EDITORIAL: Russia hates the World, Feeling very much Mutual

EDITORIAL

Russia hates the World, Feeling very much Mutual

The latest figures on international travel and tourism are in from the World Economic Forum, and they are truly devastating for Vladimir Putin’s Russia.  The words of Laura, a student from France, tell the tale:

I decided to come to Russia because I love the culture, the history, and I was curious to meet Russians. I wanted to form my own ideas about the country, different from the western view.  It was surprising to see that Russians don’t speak English and in Moscow, I think they are sick of tourists and just don’t make any effort. So to find your way, to eat in a restaurant, was quite a challenge. I was really surprised to see that Moscow is even more expensive than Paris.

Ouch.

Russia ranks a stunning #59 out of 139 nations surveyed for travel competitiveness, and that’s hardly surprising when you learn it ranks #91 for spending on tourism, laying out less than one-tenth of the world average per tourist on welcome measures.

Look at the facts, and you clearly understand Russia’s stark, unwelcoming hatred for foreigners:

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EDITORIAL: Russia, Land of Failure

EDITORIAL

Russia, Land of Failure

Today we offer a special issue devoted to an extensive analysis of the myriad of ways in which Vladimir Putin’s Russia is failing and collapsing.

A good jumping-off point for this discussion would be to click the “rating Russia” category in our sidebar. There, a reader will find more than 150 posts dedicated to reporting on international scientific studies of Russian performance, each one revealing more shocking and horrifying failure than the last. Over and over and over again in the studies, conducted by respected international organizations and think-tanks of every hue, Russia ranks in the bottom quartile of the globe or worse when tested for basic criteria of civilized government and progressive business climate.

The drumbeat of failure continued last week, loud and clear.  Inflation was soaring, capital flight was roaring, and the world was reminded once again that those who govern Russia are unqualified, lacking in experience, and totally ill-equipped to manage a complex market economy.

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EDITORIAL: Lethal Russia

EDITORIAL

Lethal Russia

Global risk manager Maplecroft has completed its 2011 Global Risks Analysis, reviewing and rating 175 world nations for risk to personal security and to capital.  Care to guess what position Vladimir Putin’s Russia occupies on that list?

#21.

That’s right — only 20 countries on this planet, less than 12% of the total, are more dangerous than Putin’s Russia.

Maplecroft explains why:

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EDITORIAL: The Voice of Russia(n Lies)

EDITORIAL

The Voice of Russia(n Lies)

The chart above, prepared by the Committee to Protect Journalists, shows that only two nations on this planet, Iraq and Philippines, have more unsolved murders of journalists than does Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which ranks #3 in the world in nominal and #8 in the world in per capita butchery of members of the press.  Russia’s rate of savagery in this regard is 50% higher than Mexico’s, which comes in just below it at #9, and it has twice as many unsolved murders as does Mexico.  Russia moved from #9 last year to #8 this year.  Amazingly, with little room to do so, it’s getting even worse as time goes by.

But you would never know this from reading or listening to the “Voice of Russia,” the Kremlin’s own paid propaganda network. It is one of the very worst, most unreliable and dishonest sources of information about modern Russia in the world.  Because of outrageously dishonest reporting from the likes of VOR, Russians and Russophiles have a warped, distorted, neo-Soviet view of themselves and, like the infamous Emperor with his “new clothes,” fail to realize that in reality the entire world is appalled by them.

Look, for example, at the shameless lies VOR told about the recent visit to Moscow by human rights delegations from the United Nations and the European Union.

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EDITORIAL: Russia vs. China, the Smackdown

EDITORIAL

Russia vs. China, the Smackdown

China is a Communist country.  Russia is supposedly capitalist.  Suppose a major business publication were to undertake a study of the two countries to decide which one presents a more horrific environment for foreigners to do business in:  Which country do you think would come out on top – that is, on the bottom?

Did you guess Russia?  You’re right!  The study’s authors explain:  “We applied a concept called the Capital Receptivity Index (CRI) that measures an EE using 23 specific factors — distributed among the four elements listed above. Countries are scored on each factor from 1 (world’s worst) to 5 (world’s best), which makes the maximum possible score 115. Tallied as a percentage, the CRI of the U.S. is 82% (94/115), Russia’s is 38% (44/115) and China’s is 46% (53/115).”

Here is the data breakdown (with each country’s score out of the total possible score):

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EDITORIAL: Russia is #10!

EDITORIAL

Russia is #10!

In yet another stunning proof of Russia’s absolute failure as a civilized, modern country under Vladimir Putin, global risk manager  Maplecroft has just published the results of a worldwide study of 196 countries and found that a truly shocking 186 of them were less risky to do business in than Russia.  You read that right: Russia is the 10th most dangerous place to do business on this planet.

Russia is keeping company with virulent hell-holes like Somalia, Pakistan, Congo and Iraq.  Maplecroft classifies Russia as an “extreme risk country” and states:

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Russian hair is the best in the world!

Well, at least Russians have finally found something they are great at, being sheered like sheep. If they’re willing to go bald, that is.  Gets kind cold in the winter that way though, doesn’t it? The New York Times reports:

The road into town is a potholed track, passing villages of log cabins and fallow fields that speak to the poverty that has gripped this part of central Russia for as long as anyone can remember.

But on a lane where geese waddle through muddy puddles, a brick building holds crate upon crate of this region’s one precious harvestable commodity: human hair, much of it naturally blond.

For the global beauty industry, this is golden treasure.

“Nobody else has this, nobody in the world,” said Aleksei N. Kuznetsov, the building’s owner. “Russian hair is the best in the world.”

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EDITORIAL: Russia, Nation of Smokestacks

EDITORIAL

Russia, Nation of Smokestacks

Of the following group of nations, the worst cigarette smokers on the planet, which do you think is the very, very worst, the most suicidal, the bottom of the wretched barrel?

Bangladesh

Brazil

China

Egypt

India

Mexico

Philippines

Poland

Russian Federation

Thailand

Turkey

Ukraine

Uruguay

Viet Nam

Yes, it’s Russia. Surprise, surprise.

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EDITORIAL: Savage Russia, Documented

EDITORIAL

Savage Russia, Documented

Question:  What do Albania, Kazakhstan and Russia have in common?

Answer:  Their scores on the most recent Human Development Index published by the United Nations are virtually identical.  Russia ranks #65 on the list, Albania is just ahead at #64 and Kazakhstan just behind at #66. Bulgaria, Belarus and Libya, for instance, are well ahead of Russia.  Perhaps most bitter of all for the America-hating Russians, the USA stands at #4 on the list, ahead of every single major nation on the planet.

The world would — quite properly — find it ludicrous to suggest that Bulgaria, Libya or Belarus be given a seat on the G-8.  Why doesn’t it find Russia’s seat on that panel just as insane?

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EDITORIAL: Russia is not Sustainable

EDITORIAL

Russia is not Sustainable

“What became clear from the financial crisis is that Russia is not a sustainable BRIC,” said Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

What makes it so clear that Russia isn’t sustainable?  The Wall Street Journal reports a truly stunning fact:  “After years of rapid economic growth, Russia was hit hard by the crisis. Last year, its economy shrank by 7.9%. That put its economic performance in 206th place out of 213 countries, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.”

That’s right:  Last year, only seven countries on the entire planet performed worse than the one presided over by proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin.

So now, a desperate Russia is attempting to make common cause with the European Union. Good luck with that, Russians.

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EDITORIAL: Once again, Russia comes in Dead Last

EDITORIAL

Once again, Russia comes in Dead Last

The virtual ink on our recent survey of Russia’s evaluations by ten major international ratings agencies is barely dry and, yes, you guessed it, once again Russia has been rated and once again it has come in dead last.

This time, Russia was compared to eighteen major nations in Europe in regard to the amount of time their citizens spend wasting time waiting in lines — and Russia was by far the worst of any country in the group.  Russians spent twice as much time waiting in lines as the second-worst nation on the list.  It comes as no surprise, of course, to anyone who has spent any time living in Russia, nor does the nasty, hostile reception you get at the end of that time spent waiting.

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EDITORIAL: In Putin’s Russia, a Perfect Zero out of Ten

EDITORIAL

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):

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Backwards, Oppressive, Horrifying Russia

Our lead editorial touts the latest “Nations in Transit” report from Freedom House, which finds that Russia  “has undergone the largest decline of any country in the study” of 29 countries in post-Soviet space where human rights and democracy are concerned.  Here is the executive summary from the Russia report.

Over the past decade, Russia’s government has become increasingly authoritarian. Boris Yeltsin’s presidential tenure from 1991 to 1999 saw competitive, but tainted, elections, relatively free television discussions, an incipient civil society, and somewhat decentralized political power. However, it laid the groundwork for increasingly authoritarian rule with the 1993 tank assault on the Parliament, a super-presidential constitution, the first Chechen war, and extensive corruption.

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EDITORIAL: Russia, Loathed and Reviled

EDITORIAL

Russia, Loathed and Reviled

Russia, out of touch

“Views on Russia’s influence are still predominantly negative worldwide.”

That was the conclusion of the latest BBC poll on the attitudes of countries around the world towards Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The segment of China’s population having a positive view of Russia plummeted shockingly this year compared to last, falling a whopping 19 points from 74% to 55%.

As shown in the chart at left, China was one of only two countries in the entire survey that had a majority-positive attitude towards Russia (the other was lowly Azarbaijan).  Less than a quarter of the U.S. population viewed Russia positively, and less than a third of the population of the major nations of Western Europe did so.

Yet, a whopping three quarters of idiotic, isolated, ignorant Russians themselves believed their nation had a mainly positive role in the world, while a totally ridiculous 4% of Russians were willing to acknowledge that their country might be mainly negative .  By contrast, no such blind, crazed nationalism affected the way Americans viewed their own role in the world. Numerous other countries had a more positive view of America’s role than did Americans themselves.

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EDITORIAL: Happy Mother’s Day in Russia . . . NOT!

EDITORIAL

Happy Mother’s Day in Russia . . . NOT!

Last week a commenter pointed to a recent survey by Save the Children which ranked the 43 “more developed” nations of the world in terms of their suitability for motherhood.

Only five of them were found less suitable than Russia. That’s right, Vladimir Putin’s Russia was more hostile than 37 of the 43 “more developed” nations of the world.

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day in the USA. Russians, for their part, don’t even have have a holiday devoted to mothering.  And one can readily see why.  Happy Mother’s Day, Russians!

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EDITORIAL: Russia Brutalizes its Children

EDITORIAL

Russia Brutalizes its Children

The sensational case of Torry Hansen, the Tennessee nurse who sent her rebellious Russian adopted child back home on a plane by himself, has caused a backlash in the Russian government leading to a savage crackdown on American adoptions by the government and a frenzied torrent of venom from Russian nationalists (Russians, of course, can’t be judged on identical or even worse individual acts of horror by their citizens, but Americans, of course, can be).  To say the least, this response is deranged.

According to UNICEF, as of 2007 Russia had four million orphaned children. Contrast this with the United States, which has only 2.8 million orphans despite having a population more than twice as large as Russia’s.  This means that the per capita rate of child alienation in the United States is over 80% lower than in Russia.  Of course, with an adult lifespan two decades shorter than an American’s, Russian parents simply aren’t likely to live long enough to take care of their children, to say nothing of being far more likely to abuse and brutalize them if they do.

Even the likes of Pravda recognizes that the number of orphaned children in Russia is soaring out of control, even according to the Kremlin’s own data. Here’s what a Russian orphan can expect from life if, like one out of four, he ends up in a state facility:

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EDITORIAL: Russia and its Appalling Matricide

EDITORIAL

Russia and its Appalling Matricide

A recent study by the British medical journal The Lancet reveals that 34 of every 100,000 Russian women who give birth lose their lives in the effort.

That figure ranks Russia a stunning #62 out of 181 world nations studied, behind Ukraine and just barely ahead of Georgia.  Bulgaria, Romania and Estonia all have far lower rates of maternal mortality than Russia, and Russia’s rate is more than double — that’s right, more than double — that of the United States.

Russia’s rate of maternal mortality has improved over the past couple of decades, but that means absolutely nothing because it’s merely part of a worldwide trend and Russia’s rate of improvement lags far behind the world’s pace.  Russia’s rate fell 1.9% per year, but that was easily exceeded by places like Dominican Republic and Papua New Guinea and Haiti.  Russia’s rate of improvement places it a shocking #98 on the list of 181 nations.

Let’s repeat that:  more than half of all world nations did better than Putin’s Russia in decreasing their rate of maternal morality.  Combine that with the fact that one Russian woman is murdered outright by her husband every 30 minutes, and you have an abject disaster for which there is only one proper descriptive term:  holocaust.

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EDITORIAL: Russians pay the “Impossible” Price

EDITORIAL

Russians pay the “Impossible” Price

The Russian website Slon.ru (Russian language link, hat tip Russia! magazine) recently conducted a survey of IKEA prices, surveying the same list of 32 items in 28 different countries.  It then rank-ordered the countries to see which one had the most expensive bill at checkout.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia came in at #3.  Only two countries in the whole world are forced to pay more for IKEA home furnishings than Russia (Japan, where everything costs more, and Australia, where shipping costs are prohibitive, topped Russia).

Where are IKEA goods cheapest?  The United States of America.

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Bursting the BRIC Bubble

Ariel Cohen, writing on the Heritage Foundation website:

On April 15–16, the city of Brasilia will host a summit of the leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC). Since Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill employed the acronym BRIC in 2001 to help sell emerging markets investment products, the world has been bullish on the BRICs.

At the BRIC summit, China’s Hu Jintao, India’s Mammohan Singh, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev, and Brazilian host Lula da Silva will seek to advance the impression that the BRICs are uniquely positioned to shape the global economic and political agenda. Such an impression is reinforced by the Obama Administration’s readiness to buy into the notion that America is declining in competitiveness, influence, and power as part of a transition to a “Post-American,” multi-polar world. Yet, there are five myths about BRIC that Americans should recognize before succumbing to Obama-inspired fatalism

Myth 1: BRIC Economies Are Eclipsing the U.S.

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