Jon Hellevig (pictured)
March 29, 2007
Mr. Hellevig of Russia Blog is a shameless Russophile liar (and, to make things even worse, he’s channeling Vladimir Zhirinovsky). His editor, Charles Ganske, and his publisher, Yuri Mamchur, are either equally shameless liars or utterly incompetent loons: The gap between America and Russia in gross and per capita GDP has not closed during the reign of Vladimir Putin, it has dramatically widened.
What does the World Bank data show? It shows this:
(1) In 2000 Russia’s GDP was roughly $260 billion, and in 2005 it was roughly $760 billion
(2) During that same period, America’s GDP soared from $9.7 trillion to $12.5 trillion
(3) Thus, the gap between America and Russia in 2000 when Putin took power was roughly $9.5 trillion. Today, the gap is over $11.5 trillion. The gap between the U.S. and Russia has not closed it has DRAMATICALLY WIDENED — to the tune of $2 TRILLION. That’s a massive 20% increase in the gap.
(4) In 2000 Russia’s per capita GDP was $1,710, and in 2005 it was $4,460.
(5) During that same period, America’s GDP per capita soared from $34,400 to $43,740.
(6) Thus, on a per capita basis, according to the World Bank, the gap between America and Russia in 2000 was $32,700; today, it stands at $39,700. In other words, the per capita gap did not close, it DRAMATICALLY WIDENED — to the tune of $7,000 per person. An average Russian earns less than $5,000 in a year.
(7) During this same period, consumer price inflation averaged ten times higher in Russia than it did in the U.S., meaning that the actual gap is far larger than it superficially appears because the value of the gains received by the Russians deterioriated much more than the American gains.
Mr. Hellevig and his editor/publisher chose to totally disregard the World Bank data that Reuters relies on (not surprising from this propagandist, since it utterly refutes his thesis). What source did he choose? He states: “According to our source, Deutsche Bank (Deutsche Bank http://www.deutsche-bank.de).” That’s just the main page of a website (in German — Russia Blog is published in English) with no apparent data on Russia at all. God only knows where he gets his “data” from. In other words, typical neo-Soviet propaganda garbage.
Mr. Hellevig also lied brazenly when he wrote that “the Russian GDP in dollar terms has increased fivefold during Putin’s term from 2000 to 2006.” An increase from $260 to $760 billion is not a fivefold increase. It’s an increase of less than threefold, and the per capita increase is even less than that. And it doesn’t factor in Russia’s massive inflation, it’s just the raw figure. It’s not wages, which have not even doubled while Putin ruled, much less increased “fivefold,” so it means little to the Russian people. And the only reason this increase occurred is that the price of oil happened to rise, something that Putin had absolutely nothing to do with.
When will Russia Blog stop telling these outrageous, self-serving lies? Mr. Hellevig is a lawyer who makes money convincing hapless foreigners to invest money in Russia (a bias he doesn’t even try to disclose), and Russia Blog is run by propagandizing Russophile maniacs bent on rationalizing and thus facilitiating the cruel, draconian rule of Vladimir Putin.
If Russia is to have any hope of a future, people like this must be stopped. They are Russia’s worst enemies.