EDITORIAL: Russia, Drowning


Russia, Drowning

Last week the world heard yet another truly appalling bit of bad economic news about Putin’s Russia.  In January alone, Russia saw a shocking $13 billion in capital flight.  For some context, that figure was almost equal to the amount Russia lost in the first three months of 2010, and it was more than one third of the total amount Russia lost in all of 2010.

This news makes mincemeat of any claims that Russia is on the path to economic recovery. Anyone with a clue knows full well that, just as in 2008, the fact that the Russian stock market is surging carries with it no good news about Russia’s real economy. The stock market is only concerned about one thing, the price of crude oil, because the fact that Russia has oil is the economy’s only bright spot.

Intelligent people understand that Russia’s dependence on oil is a bad thing, not a good one, and they are voting with their wallets on whether Russia has a future.  The vote is a landslide:  Russia’ doesn’t.

We never cease to be amazed at the stark inability of the people of Russia to realize how they are being destroyed by their own government — or, realizing it, by their craven unwillingness to do anything about it.

Truly, Russia seems to us to be a nation bent on self-destruction, on suicide. A nation that has simply given up any hope of being a normal, progressive country that can offer a bright future to its children.  Instead, almost it seems in a childish act of spite, Russians have thumbed their noses at the world and said that if the world won’t play by Russia’s rules, Russia will take its ball and go home.

The only problem, of course, is that the world doesn’t want or need Russia’s ball and doesn’t have any reason to play Russia’s game — no more than it had to play the USSR’s.  Deluded by self-deception, like the infamous Emperor with his “new clothes,” Russians have no idea how close their nation is, once again, to collapse, so the have no chance of suffering the same fate experienced by their Soviet ancestors.

23 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia, Drowning

  1. Everybody in Russia (well, at least the majority) knows that putin is a bad ruler for Russia, and no one stands up against him, because whoever tells something bad about him or the government gets shot, if you don’t believe me ask Politkovskaya…..

  2. Do you really think those numbers are real??? As the results of any russian election they are made up by kremlin propagandists.

    • Fraud is a real possibility, of course. Still, there are indications from independent Western pollsters that Putin is genuinely quite popular even if less so that 3 years ago. Which proves the old notion that every nation has the government it deserves (corny maybe, but still true)

      • You may like or dislike Putin, but you cannot argue with the obvious fact: in the term of Putin, Russian economy has dramatically improved. Moreover, Putin has no habit to blame the own country history. That is opposite to all the liberal democrats in Russia (like Nemtsov or Kasparov). A nation that doesn’t respect its own history has, obviously, no future, and Putin understands this trying to unify Russians using the idea of patriotism. That is why Putin is so appreciated by the majority of Russians, unlike Eltsin, Gorbachev, Nemtsov, etc.


        We can, and do. You don’t offer a single shred of proof.

        • Well Casasa, how would you feel about the Germans lauding the patriotism of Hitler, the Nazi party, and the SS & SD?

          Germans have a much brighter future than Russia because they acknowledge, apologise for, and reject the behavior of previous German governments.

          Your arguments are, as usual, rubbish.

          • It’s the most pertinent point. I just have this picture in my mind. The war is over, Heydrich, the chief of Nazi security services is alive, he becomes a new chancellor and the public is wildly happy about it. Or instead of Heydrich just a colonel from the Gestapo. Can you imagine this in Germany after WWII. I can’t.

            But wasn’t Putin the chief of the KGB before he became the leader? Isn’t the KGB, a secret police organization, a functional equivalent of the Gestapo?

          • Still, Germans respect their history, genazvale — just believe me as I live in this country. As usual, you compare apples with oranges, my little georgian friend. What has nazi ideology to do with patriotism? Rubbish is YOU and your comments, troll.

            • LOL Casasa, they respect the good parts of their history, and they apologise for the evil bits, which Russia has failed to do, in fact Russians such as yourself seem doomed to venerate the mass murderers that made you the “evil empire” that you were and are.

              There are things to respect in Russian history, and there are things you should apologise for. What about this are you too infantile to understand Casasa?

        • You may like or dislike Hitler, but you cannot argue with the obvious fact: in the term of Hitler, German economy had dramatically improved (or at least until 1942 or so). Moreover, Hitler had no habit to blame the own country history.

        • I see what you are saying and have three problems with you if you approve of Russian public’s reaction to Putin (or three problems with them if don’t approve):

          1. I honestly don’t see what Putin has to do with the improvement in their economy, if there is in fact any improvement. Commodity prices are responsible for that and what does that have to do with Putin’s actions one way or the other?

          2. Economy is important, obviously, but it’s not everything. To my Western simple mind, freedom is important too, but not to Russians. Even a very well fed and provided for slave is still a slave.

          3. Trying to unite under the banner of “patriotism” is the most disgusting thing ever because it denies the overwhelming worth (to my mind again) of an individual. “You nation is everything, you are nothing.” Does that remind you of somebody? When patriotism becomes religion, slipping into Fascism is inevitable and it seems to me it has already happened.

          • Manfred Steifschwanz

            Now, this piece of RV’s nearly made me laugh myself apart! In my humble opinion, Russian patriotism is light-years away from that über-vile Yank variety, of which Nazi Germany was but an offshoot (as was its obsession with enslavement, land-grabbing, and racist genocide). But, as RV correctly pointed out: Germany has indeed apologised.

            Being the preposterous kind of Western dolt that he is, however, RV slanders the Russians. Sadly for all Russophobes, fewer and fewer people buy into this crap. Most notably, the Russians themselves now have an irrefutable proof of what they were taught during Soviet times: Western imperialism brings disaster.

          • RV,

            Tell me, what freedom does an average Russian lack?

            Freedom of travel? No, He can go wherever he wants whenever he wants. Russians have more freedom of travel to foreign countries than do Americans who can land in jail for 10 years just for visiting communist countries like Cuba.

            Freedom of speech? No, an average Russian can say anything he wants, as long as it is not openly racist.

            Is there a problem with freedoms in Russia? Yes: TV stations are not free to criticize Putin and his party. Is it deplorable? Yes. Does it make an average Russian feel like he has no freedoms? No. If he wants to hear anti-Putin views, he turns off his TV set and instead listens to radio or reads newspapers. That’s all.

            Thus, this lack of TV freedom is not a major concern to an average Russian. His own economic well-being, government and police corruption, and the situation with Chechnya are of much greater concern than this lack of freedom on the three top TV networks.

            • For example, the right to life (pretty basic, right?, followed by the right to effective investigation and remedy following a Russian citizen’s murder/enforced disappearance at the hands of state agents.

              As proved in the ECHR over, and over and over again. Recent and very typical: http://www.srji.org/en/news/2011/02/103/

              In its unanimous judgments, the European Court found that:
              The right to life has been violated in respect of Lema Khakiyev and Musa Temergeriyev (Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights);
              The Russian authorities have failed to conduct an effective investigation into the above violations (Article 2);
              The manner in which the applicants’ complaints were dealt with by the Russian authorities constituted inhuman treatment (Article 3);
              Lema Khakiyev and Musa Temergeriyev were unlawfully deprived of their liberty (Article 5);
              The applicants did not have access to an effective remedy before the Russian authorities for the violations (Article 13 in conjunction with Article 2 of the Convention).

              So now you know.

            • And before you say “b-b-but they were not ‘ average Russians’!”, victims of the Kristallnacht were not “average Germans” neither, just an opressed (and widely disliked) ethnic minority.

              “Average Germans” didn’t fill the concentration camps, just like “average Russians” were not rounded up into filtration camps for indiscriminate torture, rape, extortion and disappearance (likewise ignored by the rest of the world).


            • Well, have it your own way since I lack power or desire to convert you. But I will answer your question, what freedoms the Russians don’t have. For starters:

              1. Freedom to freely elect their own government

              2. Freedom to turn to an independent court to redress grievances

              3. Freedom to engage in lawful economic activities without endangering their lives or resorting to bribery

              4. Freedom of assembly

              5. Freedom from genocide and ethnic cleansing (are those Chechens Russian citizens or not?)

              5. Freedom of the press; while I admit there probably are some outlets critical of Putin, they are insignificant and it looks like a token of freedom of the press. If they had a genuine freedom of the press, would they have so many journalists murdered, beaten, tortured?

              Russia is not considered free by major international organizations such as Freedom House or Transparency International. I know, you would call these NGO’s agents of the CIA or something along these lines. Fine, as I said I am not interested in having you see the light.

  3. Not really Maimuni, considering the majority of newspapers in Russia, and particularly the most influential dailies, are firmly under the control of Putin and his henchmen.

    As for “an average Russian can say anything he wants, as long as it is not openly racist”, more BS, Russians say openly racist things all the time with no repercussions, while those opposed to racism tend to suffer violent deaths.

    Markelov springs to mind.

  4. Vladimir the Impala

    Well said Maimonides my dear little Rabbi, Shekels are in the post- usual way.
    Next they will be talking of freedoms in Chechnya. Preposterous!
    Ramzan! warm up the Lada, we have work to do!

  5. Careful Vlad!

    You most probably will find Maimuni being the drivel – oops I mean driver – of this Lada. This will then cost you dearly as far as health is concerned.

    And to you dearest Maimuni, be good enough to give your idol – Ramzan – a big hug and sloppy kiss for me. If only I could get my hands on some Polonium 210 tea, I would gladly forward it to you so that at your next session with Ramzan, both of you can get a taste for this exotic beverage marketed by your beloved ‘vova’ Putin and his beloved KGB apes.

  6. LR! The internet really needs this blog – thank you for it! But I hope you don’t mind two comments on your editorial: First, keep track of your premising! You cannot argument with ”Intelligent people understand that (…Russia’s dependence on oil is a bad thing)” This will certainly make you loose credibility, and make the russophobes loose their supporters. Second, you claim that the world is not dependent on Russia. If you limit ”the world” to ”the western world”, you would see that the european countries are heavily dependent on russian energy. Facts and logical reasoning is one the things that differs constructive ideology and politics from intolerant extremists – so stick to it! And keep up the good work!

    • Come to think of it, it’s not so clear who depends on whom, Kaja. It’s true Europe uses their gas and oil. But at the same time, they must sell it and cannot afford not to. What are they going to do with all that oil otherwise, drink it? It’s one of their very few sources of the foreign currency income, is it not?

      • That’s a valid point, RV. Russia needs to diversify its oil (and maybe gas) transport. Build pipelines to the Far East: Japan, China, S. Korea, Vladivostok. Build pipelines to Novorossijsk. Then have tankers pick up oil in Vladivostok and Novorossijsk and take it around the world. Russia’s faith in Europe as a trade partner is a bit risky. Things have worked out well for the last half century or so, but who knows about the future? Better safe than sorry. Plus, the 21st century may very well be Asia’s century, as many experts predict.

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