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Putin's Russia: a one-man show (and corruption... lots of it)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Winner, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    An op-ed from NY Times. Basically, the gist of it is that Putin compensates for endemic corruption and chronic mismanagement of Russian domestic affairs with his foreign policy adventures.

    Meanwhile, Russia is not getting anywhere. It's stagnating at best and now utterly dependent on energy exports for cash. In essence, Putin is paying for short-term place in the spotlights with his country's long-term future. No wonder the Ukrainians don't want to be a part of that.

    What do you think the future holds for Russia? Where can you see the country in 5, 10, 20, or 50 years?

    Spoiler :
     
  2. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    :p

    Well, i doubt Russia will decline, actually. It seems to be having an ever-increasing wealth and use of its vast resources.
     
  3. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Impossible to tell. For all who knows the ME may be embroiled in a new war again, despite the US-Iranian deals, which may put Russia in a favourable position again. Maybe Russia makes a bad maneuvre which leads to an EU boycott of Russian gas and oil.
     
  4. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    "Seems" being the operative word here. It's "wealth" is almost exclusively derived from exporting raw materials and energy resources to the West. Instead of converting this wealth into infrastructure and investing it in education and healthcare and other things that would improve the living standards of ordinary Russians (and create basis for future development), Putin squanders it in a pointless pis*ing contest with the West and various pointless prestige projects.

    In the meantime, Siberia's ethnic Russian population is being replaced by the Chinese, there are enormous troubles brewing with non-Russian non-Christians in the Caucasus, and Russia's infrastructure is falling apart.

    It "seems" to me now that Putinism is a final spasm of a dying former great-power.
     
  5. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Actually, this is how Putin holds power: Paying off his cronies by engaging - among other things - in prestige projects.
     
  6. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Is that not what the great leaders of the early 20th century did also?
     
  7. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    Sounds a little like The Bear and the Dragon plot. The old Soviet Union dominated the Chinese in the Central Asian conflict in the 1960s, but it would be a different story today. And the USA wouldn't come riding in like the cavalry to save him. Just think, China with the resources of Siberia. Hmmm....
     
  8. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    China would have a very ugly border then, and get invaded for purely aesthetic reasons :)
     
  9. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    The problem is that the interests of Russia =/= interests of Putin and his cronies.

    This is a typical case of how the ruling elite's ambitions drag the whole country to ruin.

    The book was a terrible, racist crap, but the problem is real.

    If Russia was a functioning, open democracy capable of integrating the Asian migrants into Russian culture, the problem would be far less severe. But as it is now, Russia is becoming more and more xenophobic towards certain ethnicities. The question is, how will Russia rule a huge region where Russians are a small minority, with China possibly stepping in as the "protector of ethnic Chinese" in case there are troubles?

    Russia's leaders somehow believe that they're equals to China in the relationship they have established, but that's a fiction. China is a giant, Russia is a dwarf in terms of population (~Bangladesh) and economy (~Italy). It won't get any better as time progresses.
     
  10. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    While Siberia is massive, obviously in the whole of Russia the non-russians are not a majority at all or anything near it. So it is still similar (not the same) as a breakaway region of smaller size in an otherwise clearly one-group-majority country.

    Besides, how will China threaten Russia? Russia has a hundred times more nukes to begin with.
     
  11. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    That doesn't really matter that much, since many of his cronies control the security establishment and can indefinitely repress any opposition. The law enforcement in Russia is structurally underpaid by design, so they can be more easily bribed. Many current and historical countries with parasitical economic systems like modern-day Russia did survive for quite a long time, and were only destroyed by internal opposition - almost invariably from the same people that kept the regime in power for so long - or military defeat.
     
  12. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    Nuclear deterrence is a consideration, but how many of Russia's nukes still work? Maintenance and shelf life are problamatic.

    And at some point, Eastern Siberia just becomes ethnically Chinese.
     
  13. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    It's not similar at all. Siberia, especially its eastern regions, is very far from the majority of Russian population and industry. Lines of communication with the Far East consist of a few bad roads and one railway. Should serious trouble arise there, it's nearly impossible for Russia to maintain its control over it, especially if support keeps flowing from China, just few hundred kilometres to the south.

    So what? Nukes are a suicide weapon, they won't be used. Against whom, anyway? If there is a major uprising in the Russian Far East by ethnic Chinese against Moscow's rule, what will Russia do? Nuke itself? :crazyeye:
     
  14. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Blackpilled Idealist

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    More like 38 times.
    Anyway, that's an argument I never really understood. When it comes to nukes there isn't much difference if you have a thousand or a hundred. If your sites are secret and secure and you have second strike capabilities it doesn't matter that the other guy has ten or twenty times the number. As long as you have enough nukes to destroy maybe his ten most important cities you have an effective deterrent. I think that for this reason any potential conflict between Russia and China would almost certainly stay conventional, and while Russia may or may not still have a technological edge China has the numbers and the higher quality troops.
    There's great potential for drawn out war of attrition.
     
  15. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    @Winner:Hm, just how many "ethnic chinese" actually live in the Russian Far East?

    I don't recall uprisings ever happening in an area as large as the entirety of Siberia, let alone with its one railroad main line. I have to assume that virtually everything east of the Urals, and west of the edge of Siberia, is very sparsely populated and not really having a sense of collective identity.

    As for nukes not being used, well, if the chinese army invades, i think they would, given that the same would happen in analogous cases with the US, Russia, China and India for starters.

    @Sarmatian: One has to suppose that the popular backing for the military and war will tend to go down once your 20 million-people capital is a crater a few hours into your invasion. No one would try this if they have so much to lose.
     
  16. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Well, it's not something that's likely to happen overnight. I am talking about a long-term situation - if the demographics of the region continue on the the current path, Russians will be a small minority in huge parts of Russia. Unless an effort is made to instil loyalty to the Russian state among the Chinese/Korean migrants (good luck with that), then it is conceivable that in the future they may start asking why should they pay taxes to the weird, alien and war away Moscow instead of Beijing which is 10 times closer.

    Especially if China becomes even more powerful, rich and self-assured... as well as hungry for those tasty Siberian raw materials which are currently wasted on the Russians. And after all, China has always seen Russian expansion in north-east Eurasia as a part of broader European imperialism which had repeatedly humiliated China. All that's needed is to re-hash the old re-sentiments.

    What if it doesn't invade. What if an insurgency by local Chinese settlers seizes control of large parts of Siberia with a mall help of a few hundred thousand Chinese "volunteers" who crossed the border earlier (Beijing: "We were powerless to stop them, sorry!") packing modern weaponry (Beijing: "Stolen from our ammunition depots, what a shame!") and subsequently declare independence for a "Siberian People's Republic" (Bejing: "Of course we must recognize it, it's the will of the people! *cough*")?

    Nukes are really good for only one thing - to prevent other people from nuking you. They don't make you invulnerable.
     
  17. Daird

    Daird Chieftain

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    For me, it all comes down to how strong the hydrocarbon economy is. If Russia is still pumping out globs of oil, and the world is still depending upon said oil, China will have some very big temptations up north. If not, then the only thing the Chinese will get from any sort of incursion is miles upon miles of worthless tundra.
     
  18. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Chieftain

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    Yes, but deterrents only work so far, and the assumption of secret and secure launch sights is a big one. Having thousands of Nuclear Weapons means there is no hope of a Chinese Nuclear strike wiping out the Russian stockpile, while there is a significant chance the Russian's can knock out a decent chunk of the Chinese Arsenal. There's also the huge Russian advantage in tactical Nuclear Weapons, which means the Russians won't just be targeting Chinese cities.
     

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