The crisis has shown the complete incompetency and weakness of the state built by Putin. The main feature of “putinism” – an inability to adapt to new conditions, external threats, crises. Under the leadership of Putin, Russia has lost immunity to the crisis, and has experienced a significantly greater hit than all the other countries that have caught the virus.
Therefore, the main anti-crisis measure – this is the resignation of Putin and his government, as the architects of an incompetent, weak state. Without this decision, citizens are going to writhe convulsively, observing how the national leader conducts experiments on the country.
In the conditions of the crisis, all the countries of the world have one and the same problem – an intensification of the role of the state. If a state is strong, then all decisions that are adopted by the state reach the addressees. If a state is weak – the money is pilfered en route. This is putinite Russia. We have a state that has huge money and that talks about trying to save the economy from crisis. Into this state, like into a black box, officials throw huge sums of money – 200 bln dollars have already disappeared there. But they do not get to either the citizens or to enterprises.
It turned out that the Russia that is getting back up on its feet, the one that sends ships to Venezuela, and planes – to inspect the space around Europe, is going through a crises significantly heavier than that of many other countries. The deficit of the Russian budget in December to the year 2008 attained 20% of GDP. Such a deficit existed at the moment of the breakup of the USSR. Both then and now, Russia entered into the new year without a budget. Budget-2009, calculated proceeding from a price for oil of 95 dollars per barrel and adopted without a hitch by the pseudoparliament, is not the main financial document of the country. It is tragicomic that the budget was adopted in October, when oil was already costing 62 dollars per barrel.
The prime-minister adopted important “anti-crisis” decisions, about which he is now ashamed to speak: he established the level for unemployment compensation at 4900 rubles and raised the tariffs for the services of natural monopolies (during the course of the year 2009, the price for gas will rise by 27.5%, for electricity by 25%, for railroad shipments – by 20%). It was none other than the premier who adopted decisions on the supporting of an unrealistic exchange rate for the ruble, which cost Russia 200 bln dollars, the asocial decision on raising the payroll tax – the unified social tax (ESN). Such decision in any country entail a prompt resignation.
Furthermore, it was decided to help oligarchic groups. There is especial cynicism in that the help to them is rendered from the National Welfare Fund. This is a sacred fund, its funds can be spent exclusively on payments of pensions – but they were handed out to the famous oligarch-bankruptee Deripaska (4.5 bln dollars, with his debts of 30 bln dollars and assets that are clearly not enough to cover the debts) and Putin’s closest friends, Sechin and Bogdanchikov, for the support of the biggest Russian oil company “Rosneft”. Furthermore, it is being planned (or maybe it has already been secretly carried out by VEB) to allocate money to Abramovich – to his company “Evraz” – in an amount of 1.8 bln dollars, as well as to his partner-in-business Chemezov, who is hoping to get 7 bln dollars. There are several articles in this regard in the Criminal Code: exceeding official authority with the causing of grave consequences (art. 286, para 3; punishment – deprivation of liberty for a term of from three to ten years with the loss of the right to occupy certain posts or to engage in certain activity for a term of up to three years) and use of extrabudgetary funds not as intended (art. 285).
Yet another criminal decision – to allocate 175 bln rubles for the support of the stock market of Russia (this money was allocated by VEB, where Putin is the chairman of the board of trustees). The stock market of Russia collapsed after this by 75-80% – more than the other stock markets of the world. And the blue chips, at which this support ought to have been directed, lost even more value the shares of Sberbank – minus 85%. In any democratic country, the giving out of money with an incomprehensible method of expenditure and with a result in the form of the crashing of the shares of state companies – this is a subject of criminal prosecution.
We have ourselves a situation in which huge money – 200 bln dollars – has been allocated, but they did not get to the economy; the economy, including industry, are falling. An indicator of the state of the Russian economy – the drop in railroad shipments: since the start of the year, they have fallen by 36%. It is obvious that the reserves that exist in the country are going to be frittered away completely during the course of the year 2009 and the country will enter into a default regime already towards the end of this year.
For the growth in poverty, inflation, for unemployment – which, according to the assessments of Yevgeny Gontmakher, as of the end of the year will comprise 10 mln persons – for the disappearance into the black hole of a corrupt state of 200 bln dollars, for the support of the oligarchs out of the funds of the National Welfare Fund (which can be spent only on pensioners), two people are responsible – Medvedev and Putin. Russians don’t know anybody else. From this, two scenarios:
1. It’s Medvedev’s fault – “he wasn’t able to keep a hold on the country”. This is the scenario of dictatorship, under which even crueller laws are adopted, inflaming of spy-mania becomes the main occupation of the state, to doubt aloud is forbidden, monopolization of power, money, property becomes absolute, as does the dependence of each individual citizen on the state.
2. “Perestroika-2” – Medvedev sends Putin into retirement. The architect of all the calamitous decisions, both political and economic, is declared to be a person with the surname of Putin. Medvedev had nothing to do with any of it. His role – to sign an ukase on the dismissal of Putin. All that is needed is to find a typist who will print up the ukase. Knowing the human and political qualities of our elite, one can assume that everybody will react to such a turn of events with joy and will instantaneously swear allegiance to Medvedev. It will become clear that “Solidarity” – are far from the most die-hard of oppositioneers.
The next step for the president in this scenario – the founding of a technical government. After this, parliamentary elections are announced. Naturally, the repressive electoral legislation and censorship need to be repealed.
This is the only workable scenario for getting out of the crisis. And, by the way, absolutely constitutional.