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Who Is Tanking Russia’s Economy?

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Due to a confluence of international sanctions and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Russian economy has been experiencing severe difficulties. These problems, together with President Vladimir Putin's dubious economic and military decisions, have raised questions about the nation's financial health and its capacity to survive in the face of increasing pressure.

Through both military and economic choices, Putin's administration has turned Russia into an "increasingly disorganised irrational fiefdom". One blatant illustration of this is Putin's decision to raise the conscription age limit from 27 to 30, which is seen as an "own goal" and an indication of his growing irrationality and despondency.

This action not only casts doubt on the state's ability to protect itself, but also on the leadership's decision-making process's coherence and foresight. The military prowess and threat-response capacity of the country may be severely harmed by such disorganised acts.

Experts also point out Putin's propensity to break the law without repercussions. One example of this is the assertion that during the course of the previous year, the Wagner Group's mercenaries received 85 billion rubles in backing from the Russian government. Putin most likely approved the payment, but given that mercenaries are prohibited in Russia, this shows a certain amount of illegality within the ruling elite.

A nation-state that is operating effectively would not accept the use of taxpayer money to subsidise a prohibited group. Such activities undermine the rule of law and cast doubt on Russia's government accountability and transparency.

Putin's actions aren't doing anything to improve Russia's standing in the world either, as he clings to power and works to win in Ukraine. In actuality, they are compromising the country's military and economic security. International sanctions that were put in place in reaction to Russia's activities in Ukraine have had a negative effect on commerce, investment, and overall economic stability.

The conflict in Ukraine has also significantly strained Russia's financial and military capabilities. The nation's economic basis may become even more weakened as a result of the financial burden of funding military operations and keeping troops in a protracted conflict.

Putin's intention to potentially hold onto power until 2036 in light of the March 2024 elections raises questions about the continuation of his management style and the status of the Russian economy. While he may use election engineering to gain support, it is still unclear whether such a strategy will successfully address the country's core economic and geopolitical problems.


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