Russia More Belligerent as Its Best People Move Out
If 80% of Russia's brightest and most ambitious people want to emigrate away from "Putin's Paradise," who will be left behind? Anyone who cannot get a ticket out of Dodge to avoid the deluge, when the raft of bad government policies breaks and sinks.
Russia's population is collapsing from high death rates, low birth rates, and a general dysphoria and despair among those of breeding age. Young women who are able to "make a connection" outside the country typically choose to move abroad to start families with Australian, European, or North American men. Ambitious and competent young Russian men are increasingly looking abroad for opportunities which are denied to them in mother Russia.
As shown above, Russia's proportion of global population and GDP are falling precipitously. Yet Russian belligerence in the form of Vladimir Putin's posturing and threats, appear to be worsening.
The ability of Russia to use energy blackmail against its customers is being threatened by the discovery of enormous shale oil & gas reserves in Europe and Asia. So what does Russia do? It mounts an all-out publicity blitz -- aided by western green organisations -- to warn westerners not to utilise their rich energy reserves:
As the communists insisted that they had found the ideal model for society and that capitalism was doomed, Russia today insists that shale gas is a harmful, temporary phenomenon that won’t affect its traditional gas business.This type of public health warning by Russia is not very subtle. And by including western green organisations in its overall plan to protect energy monopolies, Russia risks exposing its undercover assets. But Russia's situation is desperate, and the wounded bear must not spare any expense in expressing its interests.
Shale gas has revolutionized the gas business in the U.S., and industry experts and executives say the same could happen in Europe and Asia.
Russia, however, has repeatedly downplayed the role of shale gas and insisted it won’t hurt its lucrative model of extracting gas at deposits in West Siberia and pumping it through huge pipelines to consumers in Russia and Europe. _WSJ_via_GWPF
As Russia's best and most fertile people move away, it finds itself relying more and more upon its energy resource -- much like an Arabian oil sheikdom. And yet if Russia is ever to learn how to modernise and join the rest of the advanced world, it must expand opportunities for its citizens, and stop killing and jailing anyone who expresses a contrary viewpoint.
Russia under Putin is resembling a Potemkin Republic more every day. But a Potemkin Putin with an arsenal of world-ending nuclear weapons is still capable of spoiling one's day.
Portions of the above posting were previously posted at abu al-fin and Al Fin Energy blogs