Night Falls on Putin’s Russia
If you look at a map of the world at night, Europe and the United States and Japan and even India are lit up like Christmas trees. Compare them to the vast northern swaths of Russia and to Africa, which lie in sullen darkness. In Africa’s case, it’s because the population simply doesn’t have access to electricity. In Russia’s case, it’s because there are no people present at all.
But the world’s population is exploding. Experts say that “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000” in order to feed all the new mouths. Russians are doing their part to help: Their population is expected to shrink drastically, by 15% or more, over the next few decades. So the question is: As Russia empties, who’s going to move in? Most likely, it will be the Chinese; but exploding Muslim populations across Russia’s southern border will also have a say.
Russia’s horrifying darkness is both literal and figurative, of course.
Last week, for instance, Boris Nemtsov appeared in court twice, once as a plaintiff and once as a defendant. As a plaintiff, Nemtsov watched his case against Vladimir Putin for slander get thrown out of court even though Putin offered not a single shred of evidence to prove his claim that Nemtsov stole money while in office. As a defendant, he watched the same court rule against him even though his claim that oligarch Gennady Timochenko is close to Vladimir Putin can be disputed by no rational person.
Then there was Anna Chapman. After facilitating yet another grievous Russian insult to the people of the Caucasus, fanning still higher the flames of insurrection and terror, the proud spy against the world’s most powerful country then announced she had been invited by Vladimir Putin to join his party and take a seat in Russia’s parliament. Needless to say, Chapman’s world-famous failure and incompetence no doubt make her irresistible to the Kremlin the role of rubber stamp — that is if she doesn’t lose the stamp or the paper and can remember how they work.
Next, Russia was roiling the world of culture by insisting on holding illegally obtained art works and then refusing to circulate them in world museums out of fear that international courts would seize them, disappointing and frustrating art lovers around the world — to say nothing of outraging the rightful owners of the works.
Finally, back to the literal, Russia abolished the wrong kind of daylight savings time, the one the world wants to preserve, while implementing the one the world wants to change and plunging the country into blackness even deeper. Stunningly, the only reason the regime could offer for doing so was the convenience of cows, who are apparently more important to the Kremlin than Russia’s citizens.
No country that behaves this way can long survive. Russia is hurtling recklessly down a path of self-destruction well-trodden already by the USSR, crushing its most productive and innovative citizens and allowing a troop of baboons to make key decisions about its future. As a result, despite existing for so many centuries Russia still lies in barbaric darkness, waiting for the final end to come.