30 December 2010

Russia: The World's Largest Dying Empire

There are four main areas that made 2010 a record year for Russia’s degradation:

1. The country declined on the 2010 United Nations Human Development Index from 57th place five years ago to 65th place this year ....

2. The state has become more corrupt and criminalized......

3. The economy has become more state-controlled and ineffective....

4. Most Russians are overcome by cynicism and anger over their declining standard of living and the fact that the ruling elite abuse their power and continue to embezzle money and assets from the people and businesses with impunity. In short, Russians have lost all hope for the future under the current leadership. This is reflected in rising crime, xenophobia and violence.... _MoscowTimes
Russia can still build nuclear power plants and certain weapons systems -- both very much in demand both in the emerging world and in several oil states such as Venezuela and Iran. Even China -- which prides itself on the ability to steal technology from its trade partners and allies -- has found it difficult to duplicate some of the Russian systems.
Purchases of some items [from Russia] continued - S-300 air defense systems and billions of dollars worth of jet engines. An engine China made for its Su-27 knock-off would routinely conk out after 30 hours whereas the Russian engines would need refurbishing after 400, Russian and Chinese experts said.

"Engine systems are the heart disease of our whole military industry," a Chinese defense publication quoted Wang Tianmin, a military engine designer, as saying in its March issue. _WaPo
Even so, Russia's military is rotten and rotting from the inside out. The situation is not helped by Russia's demographic nightmare.
the main problem is that political and military leaders ignored a basic demographic reality that makes it impossible to draft 750,000 new conscripts a year even under the best recruitment efforts. There simply aren’t that many able 18-year-olds in the country. _LaRussophobe_quoting_MoscowTimes
Demographic shrinkage is also leaving Eastern Siberia open for Chinese takeover.
Moscow is also warily watching China's unauthorised movements into Siberia and the Far East.

Beijing is about six times closer to the port city of Vladivostok than is Moscow, which has very weak administrative control over its eastern territories.

Already, an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 Chinese nationals have illegally settled in these oil, gas and timber-rich areas.

Beijing is also tempted by Siberia's freshwater supply, given that China already has severe shortages throughout the country.

The Russian Far East is inhabited by only six million people, while the three provinces in northeast China have about 110 million Chinese inhabitants. By 2020, more than 100 million Chinese will live less than 100km to the south of these Russian territories, whose population will then number between five million and 10 million.

As Medvedev recently admitted, if Russia does not secure its presence in the Far East, it could eventually "lose everything" to the Chinese. _RealClearWorld
Russia's people are demoralised by the increasingly totalitarian nature of Russian life. Putin's hands can be clearly seen controlling the puppet Medvedev from behind the barely closed curtains. The recent conviction of former Yukos chief Khodorkovsky on trumped up charges has not helped matters. Thousands of Russians recently rallied to demand Putin's resignation.
Ahead of the verdict, hundreds of supporters gathered outside the central Moscow courthouse.

Security officers, who maintained a heavy presence outside the building, whisked several people away while others stood in below-freezing temperatures chanting "Freedom" and "Russia without Putin" -- referring to the prime minister. _CNN
Russia has lost a large number of competent people via emigration to the west and to Israel. Between the emigrants and the competent people that Putin has jailed, it is a wonder that any production is achieved in Russia today.

But Russia is losing its population year by year, and allowing much of its remaining population to waste away via alcoholism, drugs, HIV, TB, suicide, and a generalised, nonspecific malaise which discourages family formation or thoughts of a positive future.

This is the hollow hulk which US President Obama continues to make concessions to and bow down before. In the end, Obama may be even worse for the US than Putin is for Russia.

To people of both Russia and the US: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.


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Blogger Loren said...

I've been told by some military followers that that Russian article needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Thursday, 30 December, 2010  
Blogger neil craig said...

The charges against Khodorkovsky are not trumped up - the problem is that such charges could legitimately be brought against anybody in Russia who went from zero to billionaire. That is a genuine discrepancy, though the form of the injustice is difficult to define. However it is equally true that western denunciations solely of the trial of this allegedly "pro-western" billionaire show our governments to be equally unconcerned with impartial justice.

But then looking at the "trial" & poisoning of Milosevic & continued imprisonment of hundreds of people who are no 1,000th as guilty ofv war crimes as almost every NATO leader we have never been in a position to denounce the justice system of almost any other country.

Friday, 31 December, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Loren: Better be more specific. Which article? What type of salt? etc.

Neil: Yes, totalitarianism is a problem, certainly. Arbitrary power can do away with anyone it wants. It can trump up charges against anyone it wants, and outsiders will never know which is the truth.

The EU is crumbling as Islam gradually takes over the subcontinent. You may wish to take up your complains with your new Islamic overlords.

No doubt they will listen to you very carefully, and pronounce a judgment which they will feel is just.

Friday, 31 December, 2010  
Blogger Loren said...

Wa-po on the engines and such.

I just double checked my source, seems I was partly mistaken. I think the thread of people some of whom make it their job to follow these things speaks better:
Make sure to read the whole thread, there's a Jane's reference in there to not miss, it's a bit more reliable than the Post, I think.

Russia and China do so much on strategic misinformation it's not funny, I thoroughly enjoy conversations with experts like Slade and Ryan, it provides perspective people like the Post can't give, and I don't have time to completely research myself.

Friday, 31 December, 2010  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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