This post has already been read 258 times!
The most serious challenge for the Russian elite since Putin’s autocracy has risked the collapse of the entire architecture of power built on lies, theft, manual control and hypnotic control of the population.
The political and economic consequences of the pandemic and crisis in Russia may be most unpredictable and dangerous.
Falsity, cynicism, greed, venality, inefficiency, lack of initiative, and weakness of the Russian authorities, with the almost complete destruction of socio-political and public institutions, have led to the complete degradation of the system of public administration, which threatens to turn into a real catastrophe of all-Russian scale.
This year’s events have demonstrated the Kremlin’s inability to confront real challenges. The pandemic has exposed Russia’s major social and legal flaws, which had previously been carefully addressed, and during the crisis have become fully evident. Against the backdrop of the unfolding collapse, exacerbated by the epidemic, the struggle of the “towers” for power in Russia began to flow from the horseshoe stage into open forms, which began to cause rejection and rejection in society.
Putin’s image as the protector of ordinary people’s interests, which has been painstakingly painted over many years, has never been so severely eroded. The image of the “father of the nation,” which was created, received strong resistance from both the elites and the “deep people”.
It is not the first time that the guarantor of All Russia has experienced a fall in rating. This time, however, social surveys record a rather serious collapse of trust in the institutions of power in general and in his person in particular. A very important topic of the referendum on voting for “zeroing” turned out to be compromised almost immediately and caused a rather sharp reaction.
Coronavirus drove the rest of the agenda out of the news, thus stopping the lightning-filled “zeroing”, as a result of which the initiative to legitimize lifetime rule was completely discredited.
Putin has embarked on constitutional reform to unite the conservative part of society around him and to protect the elites’ advantageous form of state existence.
However, the President’s January message to the Federal Assembly, the change of government, and the process of working on amending the Constitution, which resulted in a banal “zeroing”, revealed the true essence of power. The subsequent collapse of oil and ruble prices (with the same power), quotations of the largest Russian companies, the inability of the elite to organize an effective counteraction to the Coronavirus pandemic with its foreign assets, villas, off-shore, only increased the crisis of public confidence.
The already shaken political “Admiral Kuznetsov” has received the next ninth shaft, which forced Putin to make a new entrance to the power agreement with society, or rather imitate the state’s social concern in crisis conditions.
However, the principle of social justice is no longer trusted by Russians, and the appeal to the nation and TASS’s failed serial interview only increased the opposite effect.
It would be correct to believe that not the pandemic and the threat of mass contamination at polling stations, but the collapse of trust against the backdrop of a catastrophic social situation served as a reason for postponing the voting. Obviously, the Kremlin is going to patch up the image of the president and only then set a new date for the expression of its will.
However, this process runs the risk of becoming a hopeless venture. And the reason for that is the complete loss of reality and the loss of the remnants of human qualities by those in power.
First, Moscow is trying to soften the country’s slide into a systemic crisis at a small cost. The power has chosen tactics of delay of difficult and radical decisions in calculation that by virtue of the subsequent events there will be a zeroing of the obligations. Most of the measures proposed by Putin do not solve the problems, but shift responsibility and costs to employers and ordinary citizens. The introduction of taxes on citizens’ savings in times of crisis is against common sense. In the US, on the contrary, they give money to the population to support the economy. In addition, Russia is the only country in the world where gasoline prices are rising amid a collapse in oil prices. The elite is once again climbing into the pockets of Russians, who are again advised to tighten their belts for the sake of a bright future, not their own, but the elite itself. And everyone understands that. The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry predicts that 3 million enterprises may close down as a result of the consequences of the pandemic, and 8.6 million people may become unemployed. As a result, Russia will face a pandemic of poverty.
Secondly, blatant lies, cynicism and populism in the external arena are condemned by the vast majority of the Russian population. At the emergency summit of the G20 convened in connection with the Coronavirus pandemic, President Putin proposed to abandon trade wars and international sanctions “for mutual supplies of medicines, food, equipment, and technology. “Ideally, we should impose a solidarity moratorium on restrictions on essential goods as well as on financial transactions for their procurement,” he said. Such statements are bewildering, as neither the EU nor the U.S. has imposed any restrictions on the supply of essential goods to Russia. This was done by the Russian government.
In addition, Moscow is using pseudo assistance from other countries to mainstream the issue of sanctions. While there is an acute shortage of medical masks in Russia itself and the Russian Ministry of Defense sews them on its own, the Kremlin is using 1 million masks and 200,000 test systems to detect coronavirus donated by Alibaba Corporation as a propaganda trick. The cynicism of the situation lies not even in this, but in the fact that before the pompous delivery to Italy, the United Russia logo was painted on the boxes. Obviously, they made up those useful 20%, and the rest turned out to be cheap decorations.
Third, frank unprofessionalism and a failed economic policy that led to the withdrawal from the deal with OPEC with all the ensuing, as well as the acquisition of Venezuelan assets by the Russian government from Rosneft, which previously cost the federal treasury $8 billion. The top management has not suffered any punishment for such losses.
Fourthly, since April 1, Putin has called 135 thousand conscripts. Military ATMs have been operating in an abnormal mode, while more than 20 regions have introduced a regime of complete isolation, and the list is constantly growing. It is noteworthy that on the day Russia signed the decree on the beginning of the spring conscription, the U.S. Marine Corps suspended the sending of recruits to South Carolina, arguing it was “excessive caution. Russians ask a legitimate question – what military threat has emerged so suddenly that authorities are afraid to reschedule the draft, as most countries in the world have done? At the same time, everyone understands that as long as Putin remains in power, there will be no less hot spots with Russia’s participation, only new ones may appear.
Thus, the Kremlin’s actions and the package of “anti-crisis” measures voiced by Putin are perceived by the Russian population as hypocritical populism. The half-measures are designed to raise the president’s rating, not to lead the economy out of the crisis.
The country’s never-ending growth is led by galloping prices, tariffs, incomes of officials and propagandists. At the bottom are microscopic pensions and the salaries of ordinary Russians.
The flight of the population from the country, economic and legal repression of the citizens, the distortion of history, the imposition of censorship, propaganda lies, total control and the prospect of a “digital ghetto” in the conditions of legal nihilism – this is the reality from which Russians are tired.
Against the backdrop of Putin’s impending zeroing, the results of the all-Russian poll conducted by the Levada Center are indicative. 50% of Russians argue that succession of power is more important for the Russian political system. For “stability”, only 37%. Moreover, 62% of respondents believe that there should be an age limit for the president.
Therefore, there is no hope for any consensus between Russian society and the authorities that discredited themselves. The image of a winner in the battle against the pandemic will not bring Putin any tangible points before “zeroing”.
Moreover, Russia’s rapid and deep impoverishment may awaken a stronger demand for social justice, the fight against inequality, and redistribution of resources.
Thus, today’s Russia is moving smoothly and persistently towards an anti-dictatorial revolution that, given its national characteristics multiplied by the socio-economic crisis, risks falling into the “Venezuelan scenario”.
A perfectly developed intuition is a distinctive feature of Russians. That is why, when the whole world was buying up toilet paper, in Russian cities and hinterlands the most popular products were bullets and baseball bats.
At the very time to remember Pushkin’s words about “Russian uprising, senseless and ruthless.