In Russia, they are very upset with TV presenter Tatyana Lazareva (55 years old) from Novosibirsk, who now lives in Spain and from there presented herself as a “news anchor” in a Ukrainian satirical show. She noted that recently the Russian army was eating “with a knife and a fork” because soldiers in Ukraine stole enough cutlery and that the “first part of the military operation” had already been successfully completed, as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (66) said. He said: The army has been greatly reduced. Moreover, Lazareva made fun of the ruble exchange rate and reclusive Russian athletes – the Russian media were outraged, spoke of “shame” and wanted to “shame others”.
The screws must be imported
But Russian reality was actually becoming more and more a bitter satire of itself. The head of the Federation Council, and thus the country’s third-highest official, Valentina Matvienko (73), was worried that even Russia would have to import nails because of its notorious industry. Weakness and I don’t really want the Ministry of Industry and Trade responsible for this to believe that a “sufficient number” of wire nails will continue to be available.
Then the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, who was about to run for re-election, appeared in the State Duma and spoke vaguely about “structural changes” that she believed would hit Russia hard in the second and third quarters.
This is a return to the Soviet Union.
Stocks of finished products are ‘finally’, supplies are inevitably scarce and the central bank cannot and does not want to do anything about the accompanying massive inflation. “After the May holiday we will really feel all this,” one economist commented bitterly, while Putin tried to reassure him that the West had not ultimately won the supposedly intended economic “lightning war.”
Economist Nikita Maslennikov told the Russian Internet portal “News” very clearly that price controls for grain and meat products, for example, could see Russia return to Soviet times: “It is a completely different economy, it is a return to the Soviet Union with all the consequences. So if it is necessary for some important social good for a very short time, then yes. But it is above all a matter of stimulating one’s own business and competition, these are the drivers of structural adjustment.”
200,000 more unemployed in Moscow
Meanwhile, Moscow’s mayor relies on up to 200,000 unemployed people in his city alone because many Western companies have closed their branches. Transforming an import-oriented economy will be costly and time-consuming: the Russian electronics industry will emerge by 2030, the state is supposed to provide financial support for structural change, but given the chronically corrupt and cumbersome management, it is doubtful whether this will begin to succeed.
‘Transformation is inevitable in the future’
Russian expert Gulnaz Shervutdinova, a professor at King’s College London, who published her book “Red Mirror – Putin’s Leadership and Russia’s Unsafe Identity” in 2020, fears very difficult times are approaching for Russia. In an interview with the online portal “Medusa”, which is critical of the Kremlin, she said that in the coming year the “divides” in Russian society will deepen and the consequences will be more serious: “How long everything like this will continue depends on how quickly the political system collapses. It may take Some time, but the fact that it does not work for the benefit of society, does not work for the future of Russia, will become clear to an increasing number of people. Some kind of transformation is inevitable in the future. ”
The Kremlin and the media it controls still manage to raise a kind of “red mirror” to the majority of society, according to which Russia is “surrounded by enemies everywhere” and it is very special that you are allowed to be a Russian in this sad situation. In doing so, Putin directly relates to the psychology of the Soviet rulers, who used it to successfully instill self-confidence in their subjects: “Politicians in the Kremlin and the media they control choose from this past what is comfortable for them and what helps them in power to survive.”
Russia is seen as an aggressor
But sooner or later, this concept will not last: “Then all questions of Russian national identity will be raised again. These future discussions will no longer be based on the perception of Russia as a victim, but will assume that Russia is an aggressor if a new Russian society is formed (if we are to imagine a positive scenario). for the future) can only be based on taking responsibility for what has been accomplished.”
For many Russians, this will be connected not only with economic, military and political shock, but also with psychological one: “But I do not see any light in the near future. Sometimes it is as if the war has taken away from the last hopes. But hope dies. So I’m waiting for the war to end.” And with the new Russian offensive just beginning in eastern Ukraine, it appears to be entering an uncertain next round. The bill is increasing every day.