The change in the political and economic elite in Russia had been imposed by those who supported Putin to rise and stay in power. And the military circles, together with those nostalgic for the revival of Soviet hegemony and the theorists of revisionism, did not stop for a minute to shape public opinion so that the medieval plans of a new empire could be blessed even by the leadership of the Russian church, reaching the point even and secession from the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
They have certainly invested a lot in smaller countries and it is obvious that where the rouble finds a place, there is also an audience for former and current agents, diplomats and modern opinion makers. Everyone on the Kremlin’s payroll, “Christians” and non-Christians, and all complicit in war crimes, rape, child molestation and kidnappings, and the destruction of public utility facilities.
During his first term, Putin made it clear with whom he will govern. The popular masses in Moscow wanted stability and the new generations wanted to live better than their parents. Russia’s opening to the civilized world ended with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the acquiescence of a “frozen silent mass.” Anti-Western ideology with its full-blown conservatism is now responsible for Russia’s future. However, the majority of central power has become even more skilfully corrupt and I doubt if they are completely loyal to Putin. In the last twenty years, he has built his own political elite which led him to isolate Russia regardless of whether through BRICS he finds a “temporary way out”. Although during his second term, he passed many laws with the aim of a better state, the only thing he succeeded in was the over-control of all structures of power and the state machine without the necessary measures to reach the base of the Russian social pyramid. The opposition has vanished and almost all of Putin’s critics have “disappeared” from the public light. If those who remain do not come to a dialogue with each other and do not succeed in attracting disaffected political and economic circles the regime in the war will return to a ceasefire whose propaganda will try to convince the public that the glass of the invasion’s result is half full
From the steppes of Siberia to the shores of Kherson and the banks of the Dnipro, Putin is sacrificing the present and future generations of his country and Ukraine on the altar of his political survival.
New Economic Elite
Russian companies that have entered the world market are facing huge problems. The ruble is now equal to one cent on the dollar. The many Western sanctions, rising war spending and the reorientation of trade flows to Asia combined with increasing nationalization and the new wave of privatizations have further entrenched the country’s political system. Many were moving abroad such as Internet service company Yandex, telecommunications company Vimpelcom and online bank Tinkoff. But many were left behind as Western companies pulled out of the country, including retailers and food and beverage chains, carmakers, and banks, so foreign companies are leaving Russia and disposing of their assets at a discount of at least 50 per cent of market value. Another source of income is also the liquidation of many assets which contributes to the great economic redistribution uniquely strengthening the economic base of the Putin regime, all trusted and chosen by him and his faithful hard liners.
He recently authorized the expropriation of foreign-owned assets in response to the seizure and freeze of Russian assets abroad.
The fully controlled state sector generated more than half of Russia’s GDP in 2019. Almost 75% of revenue came from state-owned oil and gas companies.
The invasion happened to secure Putin’s political future. In the long run, the interests of European Russia will have been destroyed since blocked from Europe, it will be thousands of kilometres away from its “ally” China and the Iranian regime. Only the steppes in the depths of the Russian hinterland, where most of the inhabitants of these regions are not even aware of the wealth that the Russian oligarchs have gathered in Moscow, and certainly China and Iran, will be the winners.
In 2024 we have the perfect global political tsunami. Elections in Russia and the US.
I assess that Crimea will be liberated by the summer of 2024, but when Ukraine enters the European Union, I hope that the Turkish invasion of Cyprus will end and that no province in Europe will be under the illegal occupation of a third country.
The next day will be decided next year. A possible transition of power will be judged by how far Putin succeeds in getting the middle class of society to benefit from isolationism, the nationalization of the private sector and the shift to the East.