MIDDLE GROUND: In Russia, economic uncertainty waits for you

December 24th, 2011 Election Protests in Moscow, Sakharov Prospect

The annexation of Crimea, ruble devaluation, rising inflation, Western sanctions and plunging oil prices have all conspired to keep Vladimir Putin’s favorability rating at only 80 percent… a credit to some weapons-grade pro-Vlad propaganda. But Newsweek’s Owen Matthews thinks the ice can only get so thin before everyone falls in, even as Putin is furiously swimming towards the shore:

“Of course, [the Kremlin] understands that this is going to be a hard year, politically and economically,” says Anton Krasovsky, a blogger and former anchor at NTV television in Russia who was fired last year after announcing he was HIV-positive. “There is no more money for social spending, no money for increasing salaries to teachers, doctors, firemen.… But the priority is to prepare the way for Putin to remain president after [elections] in 2018.”…
…Over the past few weeks, there have been increasing indicators of discontent. Truckers went on strike in December to protest new tolls administered by Putin cronies, bringing Moscow traffic to a halt. Doctors and teachers also went on strike over pay and conditions in Central Russia. Shocking allegations about a business empire of the son of Yury Chaika, Russia’s prosecutor general and a close Putin ally, were circulated broadly on the Internet. And prominent businessman Dmitry Potapenko during the Moscow Economic Forum, an annual gathering of Russia’s top business leaders, publicly accused Kremlin-protected state bureaucrats of strangling businesses through massive corruption at the Moscow Economic Forum.

Read the rest at Newsweek: RESTLESS IN RUSSIA: THE KREMLIN BRACES FOR A POSSIBLE SPRING OF DISCONTENT


From the Newsweek comments section:

   “Collective illusion?” Didn’t the West fund the Maidan revolution? Didn’t the West impose the sanctions and conduct the oil-price war on Russia? Truth is not an illusion. The West excuses itself because of “Russian aggression” but basically its reasons are that its plans (to push Russia out of their Crimea naval base and encircle it even closer) didn’t go exactly as planned.

 

   You are liars. The Russian people love Putin and you all hate him because he is a thorn on your side. The ride was good for, as long as it lasted. Now you will face the consequences of your criminal actions.

 

   Yep. The storm is brewing already. did you read the article about how Russian businessmen are sick and tired of putting up with the corrupt business environment in Russia. Putin’s Propaganda parade can’t last forever. When it gets cold enough the Russian people will see just who and what they’ve been worshiping in Vladimir Putin. A KGB thug and liar they will turn on him. He is even now getting ready for the inevitable showdown.
The Secret Police, the FSB has complete dossiers on anybody and everybody in Russia who has the possibility to cause trouble. The dissidents have been warned that if they cause real problems, they will disappear in the night, a harken back to the days of Vladimir Putin’s mentor Joseph Stalin or they just might meet with an “unfortunate accident” like Alexander Litvinenko and Boris Nemtsov but nature will take it’s course with Vladimir Putin.
Even Joseph Stalin was killed. When he suffered that stroke in March 1953 Lavrenty Beria, one of the few persons who had complete access to Stalin got to him first and saw that the Monster was dying and shrewdly withheld medical treatment knowing that Stalin was planning his destruction but Beria struck first and let Stalin die. Putin has his coming.
 Front page Vladimir Putin caricature by DonkeyHotey and article photo by Simon Lazanio both used under Creative Commons License

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Maizy Stone

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