Duma Deputy: Russia will not Last to 2020

Sergei Petrov, a Russian State Duma deputy from the Just Russia party and founder of Rolf Group, writing in the Moscow Times:

Strategy 2020 — the question of where Russia will be in 2020 — hangs in the air. There are a variety of scenarios being offered by leading economists, political scientists and other analysts, but one thing is clear: There will be no miracles in the next nine years. The prospects for a country mired in archaic institutions, an oil- and gas-dependent economy, systemic corruption, unprotected property rights, corrupt courts, fraudulent elections and an apathetic population can only be dim at best.

I’m almost certain that Russia will not be able to survive in its current borders through 2020. This is not an exaggerated, sensational prognosis taken from the blogs of radical liberals or anarchists, but a clear-headed, objective analysis based on the Kremlin’s flawed policies over the past decade.

This prediction is not intended to fan the flames of separatism, extremism or crazy Zionist conspiracy theories. Rather, this is the umpteenth attempt to sound the alarm and draw public attention to the severity of Russia’s problems. In this way, we can help prevent the country from collapsing.

Today, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is held hostage by a political dead end that he himself created, very similar to the trap former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev set for himself and the country. Even if we assume for a second that Putin wanted to radically modernize and liberalize his system — or even retire if he so desired — he would not be allowed to do so by the elite who surround him. This is the elite who believe that the government is their personal property. After betraying his role as the guarantor of the Constitution, Putin has effectively become a guarantor of corruption — guaranteeing the financial well-being of millions of bureaucrats, government employees and well-connected businesspeople.

Keeping Putin’s political and business elite in power until 2020 could become one of the main reasons for the country’s collapse. A corrupt bureaucracy, by definition, is incapable of instituting economic and political reforms.

And what about society? Most Russian adults do not vote, largely because they have lost faith in any hope that post-Soviet elections can be pluralistic, free and fair. The one factor that has kept middle-class Russians distracted from politics is their high level of consumption. As long as they have money to spend, they will have much more interest in consumer goods than who is sitting in the State Duma, local legislatures, Kremlin or White House — or their policies. But as soon as this relative prosperity drops, civil protest will surely awaken.

Any student of economics can name a dozen factors that carry a risk of economic collapse. Among them are the high dependence on natural resources; low productivity; an ineffective, corrupt, bloated and overly centralized state apparatus; dependent courts; technological backwardness; and an unattractive investment climate. These factors, among others, generate a vicious cycle of poverty and excludes the implementation of a long-term development strategy for the country. It also guarantees a flight of capital, as well as Russia’s most talented and innovative people to freer and more open societies.

The key factor that will determine Russia’s collapse will be the price of oil. Five years ago, a balanced budget required only $30 per barrel of oil. This year, it has jumped to $115 because of higher government spending, waste and corruption. Next year, the figure will increase even further to $125 per barrel. If the price of oil drops to $90 a barrel, this will be the beginning of a serious economic crisis for Russia. The stabilization fund might be able to hold the budget over for a couple of years, but inevitably the state will have to cut back on social programs. These cuts in social spending will only exacerbate public discontent. It may also provoke self-sufficient regions to rethink their loyalty to Moscow.

Unfortunately, only a severe crisis can produce the shock needed to spark change in Russia. We, as concerned and law-abiding citizens, must develop peaceful alternatives to existing policies and wait for the right moment when the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.

212 responses to “Duma Deputy: Russia will not Last to 2020

  1. We’ll see in 2020 who will cede to exist.

    • The phrase “cede to exist” is non-sensical. If you are not a proficient English speaker, it’s OK, but you should use a better translation software. What are you trying to say?

      • Manfred Steifschwanz

        Despicable peace/peas/whatever of trash, thou shall not act self-righteously!

        The message in Auriga’s post clearly amounts to “let’s see who is and who is not around by 2020”. Might be too much of an exercise for average Western imbeciles though.

      • I’m using soft if I’m looking for particular word that I don’t remember. I’m never using translators to translate whole text, it usually produces crap. Still, grammar mistakes happen from time to time…

        Unfortunately there is no ‘edit comment’ option there.

        • That’s OK. Yours was not a grammar mistake, rather a wrong word choice. “Cede” means “give up” but I gather you meant “cease.” I may be a Western imbecile, but you have to admit, these two words have nothing in common.

          As for your grammar, don’t say “I’m never using.” It’s incorrect. Say instead “I never use.”

      • it probably was “Kish Mein Touchess”.

  2. I’d not dare to say that Russia is growing rapidly and everything is cool, but I see enough facts supporting claim that Russia has stopped falling down further.
    Picture is complex, there are really grim things happening of course, and careful choice of such news (filtering good news out) can portray Russia as affiliate branch of Hell. That’s what this blog is doing, by the way.

  3. “To irritate a Capitalist, tell him a lie. To irritate a Socialist, tell him the truth. “

    • Manfred Steifschwanz

      Nah, very few socialists would be irritated hearing that LR and its adherents are a bunch of Western bourgeois animals :-)

    • Hey, capitalist, why then the US nation can not tolerate a single socialist in the Capitol? I mean, there are socialists in the parliaments of France, Italy, Germany, Spain – but why in the US capitalists just can not bear the view of socialists?

      • Are you trying to tell Americans what they must like? Americans strip power from one party and hand it to its rival ROUTINELY. When have Russians EVER done that, EVER, in their entire history?

        • I thought these were americans who’ve been telling the world since Abe’s times they love democracy, non? But looks like Germans a much closer to being a democracy, after all…

      • The White House is full of socialists!

      • I guess the main reason is that the U.S. Congress is not like any European parliament because we are not like Europe and most people don’t want to be. There are historical and cultural reasons for that.

        But what do you mean “cannot tolerate.” Everybody is free to run for Congress on any platform he or she chooses. There are no party lists and in the elections people vote for a specific person not for a party. There are many members of Congress who espouse Socialist views, even if formally they are not Socialists. Party discipline is very limited (if it exists at all) and party membership is very vaguely defined. Many members routinely vote against the leadership. Their votes typically reflect the state of public opinion in their districts (for the members of the House of Representatives) or in their states (for the Senators).

        And finally, your assertion is factually incorrect. There is at the moment one member of the Senate from Vermont (Bernie Sanders) who is formally a Socialist.

    • Ah Ming the Merciless, must say that I enjoy your clever input.

      Your comment “To irritate a Capitalist, tell him a lie. To irritate a Socialist, tell him the truth. “ is pure magic!!! yet simple and 100% accurate.

      • Bogdone, are you a Socialist?

      • Manfred Steifschwanz

        Thesis refuted:

        Telling a Capitalist the fairy-tales of “Free Trade” is quite unlikely to turn out as particularly irritating to him/her. Socialists would end up considerably more worked up.

        Exercise: How would an honest account of capitalism’s track record of violence, oppression, and famine worldwide be received ?

  4. I’ll try to post examples of something that LR would never do

    IAEA nuclear reactors under construction by countries.

    Poultry international report:

    Car sales

    International Math Olympiads results

    Demographics. Still in decline, but rate of natural decline slows down from 900 thousands per year to 200 thousands.

    Well, at least 30 new manufacturing plants in june, and around 40 in july. I can provide prooflinks for these, but can not 100% guarantee that none of them is fake, as I haven’t seen with my own eyes. Still I’m sure, no less then half are real.

    • This article was written BY A RUSSIAN MEMBER OF THE DUMA, you illiterate troll.

      • Okay, now what? Russian deputies are saying different things, as their opinions differ. Some are very pessimistic. You are picking the grimmest and posting here, ignoring any positive things. I’m not saying that ‘Everything is nice in Russia’, I just say that you are very prejudiced and one-sided in picking the news.

        • What you are saying is like a doctor looking at a man having a heart attack and saying “my goodness, look at how wonderfully healthy his feet are!”

          Everything is horrible in Russia. The country does not rank in the top 130 nations of the world for life expectancy. It is hated around the world, has no significant allies, and is on the verge of collapse. We call for reform, and you ask us, in neo-Soviet fashion, to look only at Russia’s tiny and insignificant virtues. We say with friends like you Russia needs no enemies.

          • No, with enemies like you Putin needs no friends. Russia is doing better economically than 130 countries, including all the USSR countries, except Estonia, and maybe one of other two Baltic countries. Its progress in most areas, including life expectancy has been impressive. This is not what one call “the verge of collapse”, and this is exactly what feeds the “genuine popularity” of the current regime, which the foundation of its legitimacy according to CIA World Factbook. Unless this is acknowledged, your criticisms of the regime would be justifiably viewed as propaganda. How different it is from USSR’s criticizing unemployment and homelessness in the US in the 1970s, while ignoring US ability to deliver better living standards in general?

            • And Russian fertility rates are way higher of most of it’s European nations. Waaay higher than those of Baltic states. That basically means that we are not going to become a nation of pensioners in 20 years.

              • You are quite stupid. Russia’s main problem is not fertility, which is bad enough, but MORTALITY.

                • From what I have read, the fertility rates are way higher for the non-Russians living in Russia. Also, during the last census in Russia, many non-Russians were counted as Russian.

                • Umm, but how comes the depopulation rate is so high right now in Latvia, a staunch ally of the US, and in Ukraine, another perfect democracy, but the Russian population stays stable for the last several years?

              • Dymasha, let’s make some correction to your statement; And MUSLIM/CENTRAL ASIAN fertility rates are way higher of most of European nations. Hence; russian capital moscow is already 80% central asian and muslim, the so called russian ‘army’ is 50% muslim, in St. Petersburg, for some reason, one of four is of Uzbek origin… that the way to go russia…and those who die are 90% ethnic russians e.g., drug users, alcoholics, old russian people abandoned by their families and their government. The special case is the fate of the russian children bezprizornye – one million of russian orphants abandoned surviving on the hand-outs and donations from the Western charities….You are a nation of slaves….

            • AT, You criminal, pathetic kleptocrat – have you already forgotten how russian/soviet barbaric thieves plundered all Central and Eastern Europe for over 40 years. For instance, Poland was ordered to provide food for the olympics in Moscow in 1980. It almost ended up with in civil war when Polish people stopped trains going east with food stolen from Polish population – the russians, of course, managed to steal the food from Poland – but the result was extraordinary – it was the last nail to the coffin of the USSR; then came this magnificent and unique movement that could only happened in Poland SOLIDARITY – as a result, Poland himiliated and defeated USSR and, now independent and prosperous Poland is doing extremely well ……AT, talking about better living standards in russia – 80% of russians live below the poverty level spread all over siberia, without gas, electricity, or running water – the difference is those pathetic russian slaves wouldn’t dare to complain….

          • Manfred Steifschwanz

            Haha, I was actually wondering whether you had abandoned that good ol’ pet phrase of yours: “on the verge of collapse”. Jesus Christ is coming back any time soon, eh?

            But the real entertainment comes in the form of the following preposterous pronunciamiento:

            >> We call for reform >>

            With enemies of your stature only, Russia would need no military budget, whatsoever, LOL

            • hey russian baboon, you forgot that russia has a powerful NATO like organization with such world military powers like Armenia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, etc., – and russia, by the way, has an army that is 50% muslim , fed with the DOG FOOD – a total pathetic joke – how is it going to work, dearie??????

              • Manfred Steifschwanz

                Je ne sais pas. Pourquoi?

                • Are you see perhaps, a magnificent armenian, uzbek, belarus and russian forces’ victory over those ‘defenseless’ forces of the West?? Really, dearie, Russia is beyond pathetic, russia is a pitiful clown….

                  • you are foolish enough to think that someone would start another war to bail out debts of the states after this? no way, no war this time. chinese would just buy the states themselves in 10 years. Bargain price.

                    • dymasha, russia is already a slave of china…in case you haven’t noticed….

                    • Sure thing,mcusa, and it is China who owns all our debt… We have so big a debt, going to be over 100% of our GDP soon. Sure thing.

          • You have obsolete data. According to world bank reports, life expectancy is up to 69 years (rising since 2005 – 66 years)
            Fertility rate 1.55, also rising.
            Both parameters are still pretty low, but first derivative is positive.

            According to you, Russia is on the verge of collapse for years. It has not collapsed, demonstrates fine economic growth, minor baby boom, started to fix and upgrade weaponry, successfully removed US puppet from such a key country as Ukraine, completed 1st line of Nordstream, produces 11 times more nuclear reactors then US, exports wheat and close to self-sufficiency in poultry.

            Well, I’m not saying that everything is good in Russia, I see many bad things happening too. But my picture is way closer to reality then yours, because I don’t discard inconvenient facts, filter in your head accepts only bad news (and magnifies them).

            • When you say 1,55 is a low fertility rate for Europe, you forget that most states in the EU has a much lower FR.

              • 1.55 is low, not enough for reproduction, well European countries have horrible FR and surpassing them is not a sign of success.
                As to male mortality in 40-60 range, it is bad for economy but not very harmful to demographics, as they do not affect birthrate as much as women and younger men.
                It may sound devilish, but let alcoholics die. Their disease can not be cured, but their demise can warn others, especially young people.

                • Well, if you compare Russia with Pakistan, then, yes, our fertility rates is lower. Probably because we, like any other European country, have passed 2nd demographic transition years ago? As to “alcoholics” I can’t say Ive seen much of reliable data on alcohol consumption for the last several years. I just can not say what the real situation is.

          • By the way, you can not measure the rate (and relative significance) of good news, as you ignore their existence.

  5. Looks like there is a some kind of policy against posting links. Are posts with links usually set for premoderation?

  6. Yeah, it’s kinda obvious that Russia (in such a form as it is now) will cease to exist. Unfortunately, the EU, the USA, Ukraine, Georgia and other countries do not do to much to help Russia to cease its existance as a violent, aggressive, imperialistic and chauvinitsic state.

    • Manfred Steifschwanz

      If Putin ever were to waste his time reading the silly lamentations on this “prodigious” blog, he’d laugh himself apart. The warmongering ruling Western cabal of banksters and military men have brought their precious global Empire to the brink of, ahem, collapse — for REAL, mind you — in the form of total bankruptcy, substantially facilitated by military defeats. Of course, such pesky “details” are of little or no concern to ardent yet totally clueless Western baboons LR style. Given the prevalent dismal circumstances, the West has no chance in hell to ever smash Russia or China, let alone both of them, LR be damned.

      • You’re pathetic. China will smash Russia and not the West. Are you aware of situation in Russian far East? Are you aware of a lease of Russian territory for about half a century to China? Are you aware that already in Russian far East there are a lot of Chineese living there illegaly. And who will stop China to declare those territories as Chineese? Maybe Russia? lool Besides, have a look at Russian-Georgian war in August 2008. How Russia attacked Georgia, Russia had more troops there then all Georgian army together. And Russia had more casualties and death then Georgians. Guess why? Because Russian army is a clown army which cannot fulfill REAL military tasks.

        • Manfred Steifschwanz

          You tell Putin that. Be aware you sound just like our Pshek’s parrot; only a little less inarticulate. Any interesting news about dog food and/or public toilets. by the way?

          • Manfred are you Russian? Anyways, if you call mccusa as a Pshek, I can call you Katsap. And don’t mess with Poles and Ukrainians! This “Pshek”, as you say is my brother, our countries are brothers. Forgot to add, your comments stink with pro-Russian thoughts. Try to get a cure to heal your thoughts.

          • Keep it up, creep, and you’ll be banned. You’re on thin ice, and have been warned.

            • Manfred Steifschwanz

              Absolutely correct — this forum is like a scaringly thin layer of ice superimposed on a horribly vile and deep sewer. This comes as no news whatsoever, but thanks anyway.

          • He’s most probably western ukranian, probably Lviv or Ternopil.

        • Chinese are retaking their territory by crossing Siberia; [800 000 a year you can call it a silent invation], stolen by russians a while ago; it is as simple as that…..

        • Proof, Siberia IS CHINESE TERRITORY, that was stolen from China a while ago; chinese simply retaking its own territory with russia watching it helplessly…For me the case of Konigsberg [sorry kaininininin] best describe russian character of kleptocrats and murderers – they stole that magnificent Hanseatic Baltic city one of the oldest in Central Europe, the home of Emmanuel Kant one of the greatest philosophers in European history, and TURN THIS PEARL OF THE BALTIC INTO THE PUBLIC TOILET – it is vintage russia at its best…

  7. How can we describe the situation in russia – it is a ‘civil war in slow motion’. Russia truly follows the faith, path and modus operendi, [conquer and destroy] of the Mongol empire and , now, slowly disappears – it is just russia’s turn to cease to exist – it will take a long time – but russia will find itself in the same situation as mongolia…

  8. AT, “Swedish’ russian baboon; I just heard that poor kirasha, patriarch of russia is seriously sick – some viral infections aids perhaps …..

    • Manfred Steifschwanz

      Wrong, mccusa. Here is the proper constellation at your disposal:

      AT = Russian
      Manfred Steifschwanz = Swede
      mccusa = Baboon



      • Don’t insult baboons.

      • Thank you russian baboon, for agreeing with me; poor kirasha has no chance – it is either aids or he was poisoned by the Ukrainians. Do you think that kirill will have his own residence in Kyiv before his death? May I suggest a public toilet in the center of Kyiv…

        • Manfred Steifschwanz

          The whole world agrees with a smelly baboon from Pshekistan, mccusa. Definitely, there’s no need whatsoever for you to say “Thank you”.

        • @poor kirasha has no chance — at last, the first easily falsifiable prediction from our Pschek boarding school prophet. I guess, based on this, we can judge mccusa’s ability to predict other things. Now, who is willing to bet the Patriarch does not leave the hospital alive. Anyone?

          • AT, To estimated chance for poor kirill let’s compare with other victims e.g., burnt victims of Perm’s night club fire – out of 150 victims 150 victims died – it is a ‘success’ by russian standard, of course. But even in Uganda there would be some survivors….

            • Ok, you’ve made your prediction. Let’s see how good you are.

              • Hopefully its the same as your knowledge of nightclub fire tragedies:



                …its always gratifying to see a person who glees about a tragedy or someone’s bad health exposing himself as an idiot.

                • It’s a very good thought, regarding a person who gloats. Now, why don’t you follow your own advise and try to expose and condemn this Swedish thug who posts here?

                  Didn’t you notice how he gloats about deaths of dozens and dozens of Norwegian kids? It seems, according to him they deserved to die as agents ow Western imperialism. Why do you remain silent about it? Just because this Swedish piece of human refuse defends your motherland no matter what?

                  • RV, Manfred is a self-confessed troll, and I don’t “condemn” him for the same reason as you don’t “condemn” the various Andrews and mccusas.

                    • AT, you are a troll, pure and simple, and you frequently do address me.

                      Never mind, we all know you are a lying piece of racist filth, and quite typical for a Russian ultra-nationalist

                    • Andrew, again, I actually discuss the topics of the posts. I insult RV, LR, Robert only to the extent they appear to be insulting towards me, but we, nevertheless, trade arguments, and substantiate them by data, facts and logic.

                      I address to you and other trolls to expose your lies, just like the lie of branding me as “racist and Russian ultra-nationalist”. Every single post of yours, however, either starts with an insult or contains an obvious lie (like referring to me as a “racist”). In other words, like Manfred, Bogdan and mccusa, you post just to get a “rise” out of other people and for nothing else. I realize that I feed trolls when I talk to you or mccusa, but as Robert noted once, this has some entertainment value.

                • AT; as you may well know, NOT ALL 156 victims died in the nighclub dozens upon dozens survived and were transported to the BEST CLINICS IN MOSCOW, nevertheless they ALL died. Got the picture???? So the standard of hospitals in Russia is at the level of Uganda. Any problem with that???

                  • The only problem is that your mental state is the equivalent of the state of the Ugandian economy, my Cathol-worshiping Pole.

                    • AT; hey thanks for agreeing with me my statement on – by the way should we start worshiping the dirty, covered with lice, russian orthodox monks – who don’t wash at all – this is a russian way to worship the God All mighty…

                    • You are so willing to take everything as an “agreement with you”. Who is the mighty god All? Is that another name for Cathol?

        • @ poor kirasha has no chance — wrong as ususal…, just illustrates the level of Cathol-worshiping Boarding School graduates.

    • I am still not sure what gives you the idea I am Swedish. Well, gleeing about someone else’s health just reveals as much about you as your using the adjective “Asiatic” in the negative connotation. Pathetic.

  9. ‘Swedish’ russian baboon, Just to let you know, that to get to a catholic finishing bording school in Europe is a very sellective process – you wouldn’t have a chance to be accepted at all, but perhaps a position as a janitor at the school would suit you better…..

    • … and the first selection criterion is: your parents must hate you so much they prefer you to go and live with Catholic priests who tend to do weird things to little boys rather than to stay at home…

      • AT, I thought that raping little boys is Mr. Putin’s specialty…

        • Manfred Steifschwanz

          It isn’t. Try the Vatican or your erstwhile teachers at the Catholic Boarding School.

          • Molesting them certainly seems to be part of Mr. Putins character, he is a documented shirt lifter with little boys.

            Then again that’s not unusual for left wing nutters like Putin and co.

            • The more I read your posts the more I think you are enamoured with Putin, even though he does not have any moustache.

            • Manfred Steifschwanz

              Stick to your idiotic imaginations all you like — they’re 100% correctly classified as total rubbish by the upper echelons of Western society. Do you really believe Putin’s alleged paedophilia would be of any interest whatsoever to Langley and the Pentagon? Most likely, as fitting for a muddleheaded petty bourgeois you’re merely spouting tripe in “moral support” of your betters.

          • russian baboon, Yes it is…

          • By the way, ‘Swedish’ russian baboon; Do we know more about the romantic tete a tete – Putin – Prince Albert of Monaco; the most loveable, and irresisitbile bisectual of europe. What do you think they were doing alone in the wilderness of Siberia for two weeks….do tell…

            • Manfred Steifschwanz

              Tы страшно скучный и неумный, старый болтун.

            • It looks like you have intimate knowledge of things I have no slightest desire to think about.

              • AT wrote;
                It looks like you have intimate knowledge of things I have no slightest desire to think about.

                I sympathize with you 100%, it is difficult to digest mr putin’s bizzare sexual preferences – it is revolting but true…..

    • Well done :) lool

  10. A pity the comments here are so juvenile. There is little focus on Russia worldwide. With a bit of effort this site could be a significant resource. Dispensing with the agenda to make Russians and their leadership look bad might be a good beginning.

    Rather sad a country that has so many human, intellectual and cultural operates on the edge of a cliff. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore bit the bullet and developed real economies for themselves. Russia has been spoiled by having enough oil revenues that it can avoid coming to grips with what it takes to keep a country so large functioning. The perverse nation of Putin and his cronies demands that subversion and bringing down the US and Europe is somehow the key to deliverance.

    • Nobody commenting here has to power “to make Russians and their leadership look bad.” They actually do look very bad and it’s not the LR’s fault or doing. You said yourself that it operates on the edge of the cliff, and LR was not the one who put the Russians in such a precarious position

    • If you open your eyes a little more, you’ll see that this site already is that, and the purpose of the blog is the content, not the comments. Moreover, there is no English-language Russia blog with more significant comment traffic. If you want to encourage a certain kind of comment, why don’t you comment more in that manner yourself! And encourage others to do the same!

      • Well, according to Alexa ranking reach of your site is quite pathetic. I.e. it is less then 0.0001 internet users.
        Probably, most popular blog on russian corruption, rospil.info fares at least 100 times better.
        So stop deluding yourself, your impact in the real world is next to zero.

      • “Moreover, there is no English-language Russia blog with more significant comment traffic”
        The blog seems to be full of attacks against the posters rather than against their views. Obviously those who spend their time in personal abuse have nothing constructive to say. Most of the posters on this site seem to have the intelligence of a mentally defective bluebottle!

  11. I respect the quality of the work put into this site and many of the comments. If I’m critical it’s because there is so much potential to become even better.

    As for sites where with better coverage of Russia, actually STRATFOR, an intelligence source, frequently has had the most comprehensive and impartia analysis of Russia I’ve seen online.
    Check their free access archives.

    I get a lot of inside dope from various Russian sources, pro and con.

    A real desperation and despair within the country. Some genuine worries as their nuclear arsenal reaches expiration dates, that they might be tempted do something extreme while they still have a dwindling advantage in that area. Getting the economy back on track through conventional means is not an option considered by the current admin. Provoking a major war in the Middle East is thought to something that could bring Russia out of it’s doldrums. Let all sides devastate each other while the Russians can come in afterwards and pick up the pieces. A lousy game plan but Russians despite their bravado are underachievers by nature.

  12. Well. Looks like we’ll see who would last to 2013 and who wouldn’t
    Living in the Interesting times … this long expected second wave starts, S&P considers further downgrade of US ratings, Israel experiences some sort of revolution right now, oil prices would go down for sure and we’ll have an excellent opportunity to see whether Russia can survive without oil revenues.

    • Of course, Russia will survive with reduced oil revenues should oil prices go down and stay there. Even Zimbabwe is still in place despite having 100 per cent or so per day inflation. And in North Korea, millions have died from starvation but the country is still there.

      The question is not of a literal survival but in what form and at what cost to the population. The myth of Russian “prosperity” will have been debunked, that’s for sure, and the standard of living will go to the level that a country living almost exclusively off commodities deserves. And I doubt all those nuclear reactors they build would help much.

      But the construction of new palaces for Putin will not stop, no matter what. And the Olympics will still be held. Pride is much more important than anything, as I am sure you as a Russian know well.

      • I bet, Russia would survive low oil without even going into recession. Government depends on oil, as petroindustry is main taxpayer, but its weight in the economy as whole is not terribly big.
        Russia exports twice less oil per capita then Kazakstan and 14 less per capita then Norway. Well, less then almost every other oil state (Libya, Venezuela et.c.) and still has decent GDP per capita (compared to likes of Kazakhstan).
        Russia is not that much dependent on imports, so shutting down foreign trade may benefit economy in the medium term

        • Moron, the oil and gas industry was over 40% of GDP in 2005, and is even more now.

          Meanwhile, Russia is dependent of imports of many major commodities, particularly food, not to mention high tech items.

          Russian nuclear reactors are seen as a “cheap” option.

          Russian military equipment is seen as second, if not third, rate and is frequently returned due to quality issues.

          Russian cars, well enough said.

          • Only moron here is you. Try getting fresh data, or take look at links I provided.
            Russia is net exporter of wheat, produces enough chicken meat and closing the hole in pork.
            As to nuclear reactors, they are not cheap (very expensive in fact), but most cost-effective.
            Modern Russian air-defense systems are unsurpassed. As to return, only one major case happened: Algerian jets were returned. There are area like UAVs where Russian weapons don’t score much. So it depends. Anyway second place in global weapons market, despite post collapse problems – thats pretty good.
            Russian cars – agree. Lets wait for “Yo” it may become game changer.

          • Yeah, Russian imports food from Belarus and Ukraine. They don’t produce enought to feed their own population, and those products they produce have, actually, bad quality.

        • Excessive reliance on gas, oil exports cuts Russian standard of living

          By Paul Goble

          Moscow’s excessive reliance on profits from the export of oil and gas — the centerpiece of Vladimir Putin’s policies – has been contributing to a significant decline in the standard of living of most Russians beyond the capital’s ring road even as it has boosted the country’s GDP, according to a UN report on “Energy and Stable Development.”

          As a result, Nataliya Zubarevich, a geographer at Moscow State University who helped prepare the report says, “there is oil and gas [in Russia] but no happiness,” at least outside Moscow, the oil and gas producing regions of Khanty-Mansiisk and Yamalo-Nenets, and the processing center in Tyumen (www.polit.ru/news/2010/04/21/paras.html).

          Because the Russian government has “incorrectly” relied on oil and gas profits alone to show economic growth, she continues, there has been a decline in the well-being of Russian citizens, not only in terms of income but also in health, education and other social services (www1.voanews.com/russian/news/russia_economy_2010_04_20-91655984.html).

          Indeed, the report points out, in order to support oil and gas exports, Russia has to spend nearly five percent of its GDP to support the oil and gas infrastructure, an amount that severely limits Moscow’s ability to invest in the modernization of the country and that will largely preclude it as the cost of drilling increases and Russia’s production of oil and gas declines.

          In an interview with “Svobodnaya pressa,” Zubarevich added that the sale of oil and gas abroad had helped Russia but that the way in which these profits were used now constitutes “a very serious break on development,” one that she suggests will only become worse if Moscow doesn’t change course (svpressa.ru/politic/article/24204/).

          The UN report itself, she says, reflects that dual assessment. The report’s first section says that earnings from oil and gas gives Russia “a chance for a leap forward in innovative development,” all the more so because some of the technologies used in oil and gas processing can be applied in other fields.

          But the succeeding sections “assess this possibility much more skeptically.” And Zubarevich says that she views that assessment as the more correct. Indeed, she continues, as long as the oil and gas money is flowing in, “the Russian powers that be really are not interested in innovations.”

          Such people don’t need or want change, and they talk about innovations only to make themselves look better “in the eyes of the world.” Because that is so, Zubarevich argues, the distribution of profits is unlikely “to simulate innovations.” Instead, even if money is redistributed more equally, that alone will not promote positive change.

          Indeed, the Moscow geographer says, for innovation, there will need to be “a change of institutions and the rules of the game in society.” People will have to be rewarded not because of where they sit and what they control but rather for what they think up, a complete transformation from the current situation.

          These are “global changes,” she continues, and include “very significant changes in the political space. Without that, nothing will happen.” And those changes involve far more that decentralization of control: they require “competition in the political space and openness in the mass media. Only this will reduce corruption in the system of distribution.”

          “In the institutional design which now exists in the Russian Federation,” Zubarevich said, noting that this was her “personal opinion,” “innovative development is impossible.” And some of the proposals for innovation, such as Academic Zhorez Alferov’s call for a Manhattan Project-style effort, simply won’t work.

          Alferov, Zyubarevich pointed out, “is a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.” He always put the state in first place, and while the state can play some role, the kinds of innovations Russia needs are not “’nano’ and not ‘nuclear research’” but rather a broadening of opportunity for “small innovation improvements in the entire structure.”

          Indeed, she says, even if Russians came up with a breakthrough in nano technology, the country would not be able to introduce it because “we do not have the stimuli and drivers which would be necessary for that kind of innovation.” Perhaps the country can change so that this will be possible, Zubarevich concludes, but it will have to change in major ways.


  13. Sergei Petrov…hm…PHD in Philosophy. And ref to his “Duma” expirience does not make him a kind of expect in economy/finances. Oil&Gaz export makes 65% GDP. In 2001-st it was 69%…and don’t forget grown up of GDP. And from the mid of last year, Russia runs preparation for IPO on 11 biggest state owned companies…and mostly all said companies have very valuable projects on-run, presently. And russians keep running investments for the mentioned projects (on few of them I know – for sure) very clever way – by reswitching the investments to go either from the State budget or from other State major companies. Shall I continue ? Or “any student of economics” (as Mr Petrov mentioned) can explain how does it work and how does it affect onto the share pricing…

    • Yes, I am sure, the world is abuzz about those 11 IPOs, but it remains to be seen if there will be too many people willing to invest in that. The constant risk of re-nationalization or confiscation remains high. A lot of people remember well what happened with Mr. Khodorkovski and his company.

      • “Risk” issue seems to be purely rhetorical point. Tell me where to invest in…with “no risks” nowadays ? As I undestand, the key idea for said IPOs is “money return”…but besides of it, there are many companies and are waiting for to invest. And some of them commenced investments (BP bought out 50% of “Itera” from Gazprom)…where is a queue for “SCF-Group” shares. So…will see…
        Regarding “re-nationalization”. The best example of “re-nationalization” was in US, than bad debts of PRIVATE companies were bought out by the Govenment/State ))) Amazing trick !

        • This is correct, the U.S. Treasury did buy the debt of some companies, a shameful act in my view. However, it was limited to a very few, such as GM, Chrysler, AIG and several banks. And it was only temporarily, within about 18 months, the U.S. Government divested itself of GM and most of Chrysler. All banks except Citi have repaid the debts in full, with interest. Citi has paid a significant portion so far, and probably will pay everything back within a year. AIG has paid back a part but still remains a ward of the state.

          Compare this with Mr. Khodorkovski’s company which was outright confiscated. Or with Mr. Putin going on TV and publicly ordering an executive of a private company to pay the workers, in a very threatening tone of voice. You should see the difference. Will you invest in a company that can be confiscated by Mr. Putin at will, at any moment. I doubt it

          • Let’s see, during 20 years, in a country that went through a major socioeconomic transformation, there was one single case of a “confiscation” of assets that had been misappropriated from the state in the first place. If I were to assess the nationalization risk, I would rate it as low.

            • it’s just one you and I know about. And it’s not really about confiscation per se, it’s about lack of any meaningful judicial protection creating enormous risks.

              • Well, I doubt anyone knows about another one. I surely don’t. Knowing the country slightly better than you do, I would not speak about “lack of any meaningful judicial protection”. Risks are there, no doubt about it, but that’s what you are paid for if you invest in an emerging market economy. No one has ever canceled the risk/reward correlation.

  14. So…everything is not so bad with Russia…and very sorry if the real picture does not meet your warmest expectations. Moreover, comparing with many other countries and bearing in mind present situation on the markets…not bad !

  15. The article from Russia Today, August 8, 2011, enjoy;

    AGS: Russia, Accident, Vehicles

    An Antonov plane crash-landed in poor weather conditions in Russia’s Far East on Monday. A wing and its chassis were torn away, and the impact caused the engine to leak fuel. No fatalities were reported, but fifteen people were injured.
    Seven people have been taken to hospital including the pilot, who has a broken hand, according to RIA News Agency reports. The aircraft owned by the “Ir-Aero” Air Company was carrying 36 people including three children and reportedly failed to land on the runway.

    Meanwhile the Blagoveshchensk airport has been sealed off by police and firemen, and a special information hot-line has been opened. The governor of the Amur region has visited the site of the accident.

    The incident may have been caused by poor weather conditions which reduced visibility and made it difficult for the pilot to keep the plane on the runway, according to preliminary reports from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
    “The cabin started to shake, screams were heard everywhere, I saw a child clutched between seats,” – said one passenger, describing the terrifying ordeal.
    The fuel leaks from the engine of the jet were only prevented from catching fire by heavy rain in the vicinity of the airport.
    “Only a miracle saved the passengers of the jet and prevented fatalities”, witnesses were quoted as saying by the “Port-Amur” news agency.
    It is not the first plane crash involving the Antonov jets. In July, a similar An-24 crash-landed on the Ob’ river in the Tom’ region. The incident left seven dead.

    Following the July crash, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for an end to the use of Antonov-24 jets along with Tupolev-134 planes. The aircraft manufacturers have so far offered no comment

  16. AT, ‘Swedish’ russian baboon and co.

    Another russian ‘flying coffin’ dropped from the ‘friendly russian sky’ any comments – I strongly suspect that it is all orchestrated by those ‘revolting’ american capitalists who are scared of the russian aviation industry competition……

    Russian cargo plane crash in Magadan ‘kills 11′ A Russian cargo plane has crashed in a remote far eastern area, with all 11 people on board believed to have been killed, prosecutors say.

    The wreckage of the Antonov-12 plane was found in the Magadan region after going missing earlier on Tuesday.

    The crew had reported that one of the plane’s four engines was on fire shortly after taking off, the regional prosecutor’s office said.

    Those on board included nine crew and two passengers, officials said.

    “The remains of the plane were found 200km [120 miles] from Omsukchan village,” Magadan transport prosecutors said in a statement.

    “According to initial information, 11 people – nine crew members and two passengers – died in the crash.”

    Rescue workers’ efforts to reach the plane, which was found in deep forest, were hampered by thick fog, according to Itar-Tass news agency.

    • Manfred Steifschwanz

      What about toilets? Don’t let your audience down like some Pshek in Smolensk, eh?

      • ‘swedish’ russian baboon, you probably heard the good news; today, two Su-27 [the best military planes produced by russia], had a mid-air collition killing the ‘best ruskiy vitez’, Igor Tkaczenko – just before tomorrows MAKS-2009; and to add insult to injury ,a Jak-52 went down – three planes in one day – what an achievement and glory to the russian technological genius – it seems that Poland is being vindicated….

        • Still appears to be infinitely better than the Polish genius, which builds Catholic Boarding Schools, dens of hatred and perversion, not fighter jets.

        • Manfred Steifschwanz

          Пшек ебаный — иди соси хуй папы и перестань говорить чепуху о самолетах, это понятно?

          • ‘swedish’ russian baboon, a ya budu govorit ob etim ruskim govnie kotorye spadayud z ruskovo ‘neba’ i ubiaut roskie bartakhlo – kazetsa nepryyatno – kak govoriat w amerykie sh##$%t hit the fan…i kakoy pozor dla roskovo bydla…..izvenitie ruskoy imperii kotoraya toniot v govnie….

    • mccusa.

      You are funny!! your comment “Another russian ‘flying coffin’ dropped from the ‘friendly russian sky’ ” gave me a good laugh.

      What an accurate description for “Aeroflop.” But must be worrying for puppet president Medvedev for him to ground the Tupalev and Antonov aircraft because of their woeful flying safety records. Another first in the annals of neo soviet standard of “flying coffin” aviation.

      • And the connection between Avis Amur, a shady cargo air company and Aeroflot is…? Oh, it exists in your mind only….

        • AT, Connection between Avis Amur and Aeroflot are obvious, both companies fly the same russian produced junk.

          By the way, I thought I died and went to heaven; listen to this, according to the Polish newspaper, ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’ August 10, 2011, two SU-27, the best military planes russian produces, had a mid-air collision, during the training just before MAKS-2009, killing Igor Tkaczenko, the best of the so called ‘elite’; ‘ruskiye vitez’.
          To add the instult to injury ANOTHER russian junk went down the same day Jak-52. It is getting better and better – three planes crashed in ONE DAY only in russia….I think Poland is being vindicated….

          • Its gratifying to see you making a fool of yourself. No, Aeroflot does not fly any An-24 or Tu-134 jets. Whether Russian planes are junk or not is not clear (see the comparison between Il-62 and DC-8 crash statistics provided below). Poland is not capable of making any planes at all, so Polish plain crash statistics will always be better. The fact that plain crashes, fires, wars, other people’s being sick give you a sense of vindication demonstrates very clearly that not every Catholic Boarding School graduate is a Christian. You have a problem in your head, and your sense of “vindication” is a sign of a disorder, not something to show off in public.

            • It it SO gratifying to see russia humiliating itself on a daily basis – thank you on behalf of the western world… By the way what planes aeroflot is flying – anything russian made? Do tell….

              Talking about vindication – it is simple – you russian murdered Polish President but Poland didn’t have to lift a finger to be vindicated – Poland is watching with fiendish pleasure and disbelief russia’s self destruction – russia is like pitiful, pathetic clown performing in front of the embarrassed public..

              The greatest vindication, though, must be for all those millions in Ukraine starved to death – that planned, perfidious mass murder of innocents in Ukraine in the 1930ties – and then replaced by the ethnic russians; Present-day Ukrainians just should have a one glance on moscow – a city that is 80% muslim and central asian – this is your revange…

            • AT wrote;
              ‘Whether Russian planes are junk or not is not clear’
              So two russian planes crashed a day is not clear that they are junk of not – let’s wait a short while – pretty soon there will be 5 russian flying coffins a day dropping of the skies – would it convince you dearie…. no it is, of course, capitalist propaganda.. I know, I know…….

              • I guess, it is fairly useless to explain to you averages, statistics and other things that are not specifically related to dirty toilets or Catholic Boarding Schools. I agree, Russian planes will always perform worse than Polish planes…the latter ones never fly, so they never crash.

            • Manfred Steifschwanz

              На мой взгляд, наш Пшек, по сравнению с его соотечественников он довольно умен, AT :-)

              • ‘swedish’ russian baboon – could you translate this from serbo-croatian to english please…….

                • Manfred Steifschwanz

                  It’s a tcl/tk regular expression, Pshek baboon. Don’t bother what few precious brain cells you have with pattern matching techniques.

                • Go and practice how to spell “Kalinin”.

                  • AT enlighten me and the rest of civilized world what or who was kalininin,

                    • You and the rest of the civilized world? So far, not a single message of yours is indicative of the fact that you can be considered part of the civilized world. As for Kalinin, your knowledge of the language of your former masters should help you discover this on your own.

                  • AT, Correct spelling of Kalininin is Konigberg, of course…

                    • AT, talking about ‘masters’ I remember them fondly – when they started coming to Poland as so called intourist groups – all devouted communists and kgb men that accompany EVERY group of soviet/communist proletariat. We, Polish people, didn’t know whether to cry or laugh – horror of horros the ‘masters’ coming from asia were dressed with the latest soviet fashion, they had golden teeth, something on their feet resambling shoes made of cloth, smelly, with medals all over their bodies, probably to cover the holes in their fashionable outfits.. Tragically almost all of them NEVER had a slice of ham in their lives. – they discover ham in Poland..But all of them; kgb and soviet tourists alike; smuggled some diamond rings [almaznye koltsa] – [by the way, I really don’t want to know WHERE AND HOW] – regardless of the magnificent communist believes – they sold the diamonds and wanted two things only – to buy american jeans and to see the streep tease – thanks you russians for the amusementand performance in bad taste you unknowingly provided….

                    • … so your masters were kind to your people and kept them in better conditions than they lived in themselves…

                    • By the way,at, a word civilized, DOESN’T NOT EXIST IN THE LOCAL RUSSIAN SLANG…

              • Манфред, сочувствую, что тебе приходится запоминать использование падежей. Правильно будет сказать по сравнению с его СООТЕЧЕСТВЕННИКАМИ

        • And the connection between Absolute Trash, a shady communist propaganda B/S artist and current neo soviet Absolute Trash is….? Oh, it only exists in your feebly twisted mind …

          Give up neo soviet Absolute Trash regurgitation comrade, with helpers like you Putin is destined for the scrap heap of history – that’s for sure.

          • Six lines, an abuse, a ghastly ghost of Communism from under Bogdan’s bed, zero substance, you are so predictable, Comrade Bogdone.

            • Absolute Trash,

              Stop lying comrade! as a true neo soviet stooge you excel at it, but your naive lying is so obvious that it is nauseating, as always and still.

              • So naive and so obvious that you’ve never could point out what is factually wrong in my statements or write a substantiated response, comrade.

          • Poor Putin — having to meet a Ukro-Aussie miscreant at the very final destination. Or maybe he could actually be heading for Crete (remeber that oldie, Boredan?) .

            • ‘swedish’ russian baboon, poor putin looks like an albino chukchi….with misshaped, strange bald head, bizzare nose, 5.3″ , short legged sixty year old going seventy….

              • Manfred Steifschwanz

                Actually, Pshek, Putin is of Finnish descent, his last name being a russified rendition of “Poutiainen”, which is quite common among Finns.

                I can imagine what you look like, by the way.

                • ‘swedish’russian baboon;

                  putine is of Finnish descent – YEAH RIGHT – NICE TRY. …..

                  • Manfred Steifschwanz

                    I wouldn’t dare imagining your descent. Psheks = Worthless people, worthless culture, worthless faith.

                    • ‘swedish’ russian baboon, great news, mr. putin, yesterday, according to ‘Gazeta Wyborcza’, dived at the Tamansk Bay on the Azov Sea, and signlehandedly, after one 2-meter-deep dive, discovered two huge antique vases 150o years old, while the archeologists were working and diving in the area of Tamansk Bay for years and managed to find just broked small puny pieces of antique dishes and vases. He is truly a ‘renaissance man’; look at his increadible achievements; flying military planes, submerging onto deep sea on the nuclerar submarine, flying plane-amphibia and fighting the fire, he boldly drove Formula 1 car, let the leopards free into the wilderness, and attack a whale with bow and arrow…..He truly deserve to be on the russian religious icons [like Stalin] ……I am speechless ….

                    • Manfred Steifschwanz

                      And his toilet? Don’t go off-topic, please.

                    • ‘swedish’ russina baboon; Dearie, you keep repeating ‘worthless people, worthless faith i tak dalsze.. like a maniac – what a humongous inferiority complex and obsession with everything civilized/Polish – why dearie, why???

                    • Manfred Steifschwanz

                      Psheks and civilization are mutually exclusive. That’s what you keep revealing inadvertently as you submit your blog barfs here. I have felt disposed to believe it’s due to the Catholic church, but Latin America comes nowhere near the Psheks in terms of vile chauvinism and self-righteousness. Psheks? No thanks.

  17. I love scummy russian planes. They got me hired to fly a DC-8 to replace the whole LOT Polish fleet between Warsaw and New York in the eighties. Polacks just could not believe we, with one airplane, two mechanics and two pilot crews(six pilots) replaced the whole airline’s ten IL-62…
    The russian Pratt and Whitney imitations just kept exploding and killing everybody. By the way, DC-8 are still flying and will be for fifty more years!

    • Ah, finally, the explanation for the madness. Senility.

      • Flying coffins? As of May 2011, the DC-8 had been involved in 140 incidents, including 83 hull-loss accidents, with 2,256 fatalities. Since its first flight in 1963, Il-62 has been inolved in 12 accidents resulting in about 1,800 fatalities.

        • This accident statistics is meaningless unless you have the data of a number of accidents per mile flown, or per 1 flight, or per 1 passenger carried. Let’s have that. Did it occur to you that maybe DC8 was much heavily used?

          Whatever it is, your own link shows that very few organizations or countries want this IL junk. Outside Russia, it’s just N.Korea, Kazakhstan and Iran. Even Aeroflot does not want it much. Even reliable fellow travelers like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela don’t want it.

          • Yes, it occurred to me. Did it occur to you that maybe the opposite could be the case? If you have better statistics, you are welcome to publish them here and to dispute the figures in the link. That what I call a discussion. Given the available figures, however, it does not appear to be fair to say that the ILs have a much worse safety record than the DCs — which was asserted in earlier posts based on anecdotal evidence (“… just kept exploding killing everybody”), which appears to be so popular at this site . As for “few organizations or countries want this IL junk”, there are as many DCs being currently operated as ILs. As such, demand for each of these two somewhat antiquated aircraft appears to be the same. As for the geography of demand, aircraft popularity is a result of many factors, including marketing, technical support, financing, politics, legislation and others, so the fact that the ILs are used in fewer countries may be totally irrelevant to the IL safety record or even to its technological superiority or inferiority.

            • How can one operate DC8 as an IL? They are different machines, aren’t they? Can one operate a Volvo as a Fiat? It seems you made a point at least implicitly than an IL is just as safe as a DC plane, if not safer. So, you prove it.

              As far as statistics, for some reason, all Russian made goods where safety and quality matters have very bad reputation, perhaps except weapons and space things. It’s just the way it is, and there must be a reason for that. Chinese stuff has reputation that is just as bad if not worse.

              Not knowing anything about aircraft performance or safety, I would never set my foot on a Russian made plane or on a plane operated by any Russia based airline. Russian vodka or caviar, yes, I don’t mind that. A plane, never.

              Russians’ cavalier attitude towards safety is well known as is their indifference to a human life. No need to be a hero

              • RV, I was not the one who compared DC8 to ILs. It was Comrade Ming who claims to have experience with both and appears to think that they are comparable. Having looked up the crash statistics, I saw that a greater percentage of the DC8 population was destroyed in crashes. In the absence of (i) additional details and (ii) any verifiable facts suggesting the contrary, this led me to conclude that there was no evidence that Ils are less safe than DC8. If this proof is not good for you, you are free to disagree with me. Most people at this site appear to be totally content to base their opinions on unsubstantiated claims anyway (e.g. no reasonable evidence will convince mccusa that a significant proportion of the Rusian population does not live in huts in Siberia, and no evidence at all will make Bogdan admit that I am not a Communist). If you want to prove me wrong, however, you are the one who should produce additional evidence.

                As far as what you do or not do, its entirely your business. And your personal opinion of Russian or Chinese goods is irrelevant, as long as these goods sell for more than they cost to produce in significant quantities. After all, its better to produce aircraft, cars, clothes or goods of mass consumption, which RV would never use, and sell them at profit than not to make any.

  18. By the way, we do have maniacs in congress…take Maxine Water…this black woman is more racist than Adolf Hitler and more Bolshevik than Joe Stalin!

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  55. Hey! Quick question that’s totally off topic.

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  59. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems
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