East-X-Net's e-Magasin om Østeuropa - 10 årlige udgivelser - August 2005 - Nr. 68
by Russia Profile
Øst Magasinet med mail Nyt ubådsuheld rammer Rusland En russisk mini ubåd af typen Priz AS-29 satte sig den torsdag
d. 4. august ubehjælpeligt fast på havbunden syd for Kamchatka-halvøen. Ubåden er
godt 13 meter lang var med i en kampøvelse med 7 søfolk. Situationen blev
hurtigt kritisk, da iltbeholdningen kun rakte til kort tid. Men der blev
hurtigt tilkaldt international hjælp, og det lykkedes en britiske
undervandsrobot at skære miniubåden fri af den ankerkæde, der havde
viklet sig ind i ubådens skrue. Besætningen kunne herefter reddes ud af
den forulykkede ubåd. Begivenheden har haft stor opmærksomhed, da den
giver mindelser om Kursk, som forulykkede med en 118 mands besætning i
august 2000. Læs
Korruption stigende i Rusland Tænketanken Indem har gennemført en større
undersøgelse af korruptionen i Rusland. Ifølge
undersøgelsen regner russere med at betale i alt 319
milliarder dollars, eller næsten 2.000 milliarder danske kroner i
bestikkelse i løbet af 2005, skriver Dagens Næringsliv. Det er de
erhvervsdrivende, der må punge ud med størsteparten af pengene. I en
tilsvarende undersøgelse i 2001 var tallet ca. 200 milliarder kroner. Prisen på bestikkelse er især øget for private selskaber, der betaler
for at slippe for det russiske bureaukrati. Derimod har bestikkelser, som almindelige folk betaler for at få bedre
sygehusbehandling, skolepladser og for at slippe for trafikbøder, holdt sig
på samme niveau. Omkring 4.000 informanter har deltaget i undersøgelsen. Blandt dem 1.000
erhvervsdrivende, skriver Dagens Næringsliv. Læs
Modtag Øst Magasinet med mail
Nyt ubådsuheld rammer Rusland
En russisk mini ubåd af typen Priz AS-29 satte sig den torsdag d. 4. august ubehjælpeligt fast på havbunden syd for Kamchatka-halvøen. Ubåden er godt 13 meter lang var med i en kampøvelse med 7 søfolk. Situationen blev hurtigt kritisk, da iltbeholdningen kun rakte til kort tid. Men der blev hurtigt tilkaldt international hjælp, og det lykkedes en britiske undervandsrobot at skære miniubåden fri af den ankerkæde, der havde viklet sig ind i ubådens skrue. Besætningen kunne herefter reddes ud af den forulykkede ubåd. Begivenheden har haft stor opmærksomhed, da den giver mindelser om Kursk, som forulykkede med en 118 mands besætning i august 2000. Læs mere...tilmeld her!
Korruption stigende i Rusland
Tænketanken Indem har gennemført en større undersøgelse af korruptionen i Rusland. Ifølge undersøgelsen regner russere med at betale i alt 319 milliarder dollars, eller næsten 2.000 milliarder danske kroner i bestikkelse i løbet af 2005, skriver Dagens Næringsliv. Det er de erhvervsdrivende, der må punge ud med størsteparten af pengene. I en tilsvarende undersøgelse i 2001 var tallet ca. 200 milliarder kroner. Prisen på bestikkelse er især øget for private selskaber, der betaler for at slippe for det russiske bureaukrati. Derimod har bestikkelser, som almindelige folk betaler for at få bedre sygehusbehandling, skolepladser og for at slippe for trafikbøder, holdt sig på samme niveau. Omkring 4.000 informanter har deltaget i undersøgelsen. Blandt dem 1.000 erhvervsdrivende, skriver Dagens Næringsliv. Læs mere...tilmeld her!
Rusland vil købe kvæg i Danmark
Ifølge Ritzau har de russiske myndigheder planer om at gå på
opkøb i Europa for at forbedre landets kvægbestand. Landbrugsministeriet
siger, at det har planer om at købe flere end 50.000 kvæg i udlandet,
herunder Danmark, skriver det russiske nyhedsbureau Itar-Tass.
- Vi planlægger at købe højproduktivt kvæg i Holland, Danmark og
Østrig. Den nuværende situation er sådan, at den eksisterende
kvægbestand ikke engang kan reproducere sig selv, udtalte Vasilij Sjaposjkin,
leder af ministeriets kvægdepartement. Ifølge landbrugsministeriet er
antallet af kvæg i Rusland faldet kraftigt i de senere år.
Vækst i Litauens banksektor
Slovenien – Et vækstland i
Marked for byggekomponeter i Ungarn
Ukraine will introduce non-vise regime
On July 8, 2005 the deputy of State secretary M. Lubkivsky reported that from September 1, 2005
Ukraine will introduce permanent non-vise entry regime for citizens of Switzerland and European
Union. “After September 1 non-visa entry regime will be prolonged for unlimited period of time” told
the deputy. Head of Ministry of foreign affairs B. Tarasyuk pointed out that after the introduction of non-visa
entry regime quantity of Europeans who visited Ukraine increase in 2.3 times. “Taking into account
expenditures of these people – approximately USD 1000 per person – monthly they were leaving in
Ukraine USD 230 million” stressed Tarasyuk.
Metro starter i Rusland
Ifølge Virk.dk har Metro indledt et samarbejde med dagbladet Mempo i Skt. Petersborg. Tidligere har Metro etableret sig i Ungarn, Polen og Tjekkiet. Samtidig indledes et franchise-samarbejde mellem parterne, idet Metro får royalties af Mempo. Det ventes at påvirke Metros første regnskabsår i Rusland positivt. Metro får desuden en option på at købe 51 pct. af det russiske selskab. Ifølge Metro voksede annoncemarkedet i aviser og blade i Skt. Petersborg i 2004 med 48 pct. til 80 mio. dollars. Læs mere...tilmeld her!
Russisk Alfa Group udvider
Putin says "No" to third term
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the Russian constitution prevented him from seeking a third term in office even if he wanted to stay on after 2008. "Maybe I would like to (continue as president), but the constitution doesn't allow it," he told a news conference during a two-day visit to Finland. "I'm of the opinion that the most important issue in Russia now is stability, and the only way to achieve this is by respecting the constitution." The Russian constitution bars Putin from running again when his second, four-year term ends in 2008. But Putin's opponents say he will try to keep control after that date by securing the electorate's support for a hand-picked successor of similar political outlook. Læs mere...tilmeld her!
Putin remains Russia's most trusted leader
Russian citizens' attitude to the authorities in June did not change from May. The National Public Opinion Center (VTsIOM) reported that President Vladimir Putin's approval rating in May was at a year-high 70% and said this figured remained virtually unchanged in June at 69%. The presidency was the only institution among the federal authorities whose approval rating was far above the level of criticism. Disapproval of the president's work went down from 27% in January to 21% in June. Vladimir Putin remains the most trusted figure on the political scene, winning 40% of the respondents' votes in April and May, and 41% in June. Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu is in second place with 13% in June and 13% in May, and Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky is in third place with 10% and 11%, respectively. The list of the most criticized politicians also remained the same and comprises Zhirinovsky, Unified Energy System of Russia CEO Anatoly Chubais and Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov. The list of presidential candidates is led by Putin with 49% in June and 47% in May, followed by Zhirinovsky (6%) and Zyuganov (6%). These figures were obtained in four polls held in June in 153 populated areas in 46 regions, each one involving 1,600 respondents. Læs mere...tilmeld her!
New russsin study on HIV
A new study has given powerful backing to health experts who warn that Russia’s
capital is a driver for a potentially nationwide HIV epidemic. AIDS specialists
have long warned that Russia and Eastern European nations are vulnerable to the
same phenomenon that is helping to spread the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
in Southeast Asia, India and China, the AFP news agency reported.
The adoption of Russian children by foreigners looks slated to undergo its own Iron Curtain period. Yet another child from Russia has been killed in
the United States by adoptive parents. Just recently, two-year-old Nina Bazhenova of Irkutsk was pronounced dead
at a Prince William county hospital. The doctors said the child died as a result of beatings. And investigators learned that she
was killed by her own foster mother. The Russian embassy in Washington reacted immediately to
the incident and promised to take the investigation under its own control. As is well known, the adoption of children from Russia remains a very
problematic practice for potential parents from abroad. Our government continuously speaks that it would like for all these children to remain in
Russia. And Russian law enforcement authorities are trying to further complicate the adoption process, even though such tragedies occur in Russia
no less frequently than in the United States. When in May of this year a Chicago court was preparing to pass verdict on
U.S. citizen Irma Pavlis who killed her adopted six-year-old from Russia,
Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov told the government to immediately re-examine the common practice of handing over the nation’s young citizens
to families abroad. He wanted to freeze international adoptions until special agreements are made “allowing control and measures against
violence.” The prosecutor general cited the growing frequency of cruelty against adopted children in the United States. Since 1996, at least 12
Russian children have died at the hands of their adoptive parents in the United States.
In the last two months, the Education Ministry, which is responsible for foster care and adoption, together with the Prosecutor General’s office,
have tried to develop a joint compromise that would, on the one hand, make adoption more accessible to foreign parents, and, on the other, that would
better protect the rights of children. In the United States, people are also concerned about the future of
children who are in the care of foster parents. On Friday, Tomas Etwood, president of the U.S. National Council for Adoption called on the U.S.
government to pass reforms in American agencies that help U.S. residents adopt foreign children. He believes that it is crucial to better study the
profiles of future parents of Russian children and in particular, how prepared they are psychologically to accept a child from an orphanage into
Now, however, it is unlikely that Russian prosecutors will wait while foreign agencies actually improve their activities. After the case of
little Nina Bazhenova, Deputy Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky promised to take all the necessary measures to check whether the actions of those involved
in the adoption were legal. In other words, he once again signaled that he will take a hard stance on issues of foreign adoption in general. According
to Education Ministry statistics, out of the over 170,000 Russian orphans, only 7,331 were adopted by parents inside Russia, and 7,852 were adopted by
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Could Russia collapse?
Sergei Roy, editor, www.intelligent.ru (excerpt):
Dale Herspring, professor of political science, Kansas State University:
So where does that leave us? Moscow is concerned, and it should be. Ethnicity, more than any other factor led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the Kremlin has shown that it is prepared to use military force if necessary to keep the country together. Furthermore, the fact that the Kremlin is worried about the issue means that it is more likely to take steps to deal with ethnic problems. In sum, a problem, but not one that should send the Kremlin leadership to the barricades.
Robert Bruce Ware, associate professor, Department of Philosophy, Southern
Illinois University Edwardsville, and noted expert on the North Caucasus:
The second most important connector in Russia is history. Russians have shared an especially dramatic history, in which they have pulled one another up from the ashes time and time again, and these tribulations have forged strong bonds among them. Of course, Russians have also taken one another down in flames on more than one occasion, and history can also be a centrifugal force in some areas, as, for example, in Chechnya. Yet, despite the weakness of their cultural and historical attachments, most Chechens do not wish to live apart from the Russian Federation. The reasons for this are partly economic, partly political and, of course, partly coercive. Yet the extremity of the Chechen case helps to illustrate why other remote and restive areas, with weaker cultural and historical attachments, nonetheless remain within the Federation. To these areas the Soviet Union brought pavement, plumbing, electricity, education, healthcare, elements of gender equality and general economic development that no one has forgotten and that nearly everyone wants to restore. The Soviet Union also brought political stability and security for most of its inhabitants. Russia is the successor state to the Soviet Union in all of these respects. Few people in its outlying regions can see any prospects for future economic development, political stability and security that are better than those offered by Russian citizenship. But for the few who do see alternatives, as, for example, in cases of Islamist extremism, there is also the negative example of Chechnya. Unfortunately, some Chechens wish to remain within the Russian Federation simply because protracted conflict has made Russian citizenship appear to be the shortest path to stability and prosperity.Western observers who focus only upon the last of these threads, while overlooking or underestimating the other genuinely centripetal features of Russian life, have tended to exaggerate prospects for Russia's disintegration. Ethan S. Burger, Esq., scholar-in-residence, School of International Service, American University, Washington Neither states nor borders are permanent. We have recently witnessed the break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The Spanish Empire, with a few exceptions, ended over a 100-year period. The colonial empires of Britain, France, the Netherlands and Portugal largely disappeared after World War II. Earlier in the 20th century, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires disappeared (and created a huge power vacuum). The United States (and Canada, to a lesser extent) were able to achieve its manifest destiny since most of the Native Americans died of the diseases brought from Europe and both countries killed a large share of those who survived. Still, both countries survive, since they are based on a belief in the rule of law and respect for the dignity of the individual. The bulk of the population is people, as well as their decedents, who uprooted themselves from the countries of origin to seek a better life. Many of the world’s problems today are a result of where the former colonial powers drew the borders of the territories abroad they controlled in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Russia’s eastern expansion was the mirror image of that of Canada and the United States. While it holds itself out as a European and Asian state, Russia’s history, political authority and a majority of its population, remain west of the Ural Mountains, though European colonies developed in the eastern two-thirds of the country. Russia expanded into inhabited territories. While over time, a large share of the original inhabitants perished, many of their decedents remain. When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, he expected Alexander I to surrender when Moscow fell. Napoleon was never accepted by the monarchs of Europe as legitimate, so he had to wage war continually (with intermittent periods of peace) to survive – which he did not. In the short-term, the “glue” holds Russia together is (1) the legacy of the Great Patriotic War, (2) "a large share of the Russian population unable to accept the break-up of the Soviet Union, (3) a long history as an empire, and (4) distrust of foreigners. In part, due to his credit as a person, Mikhail Gorbachev did not realize he was ruling a multi-national empire and could not transform the Soviet Union into a European Union-like structure (hence his mistake when he tried to install an ethnic Russian as head of the Kazakhstani Communist Party shortly after becoming General Secretary and his decision to make a Georgian the USSR’s Foreign Minister). It seems that Gorbachev was largely free of ethnic/national prejudice: A person was a person and not principally a member of a particular nationality (though many Balts and others might dispute this). The current Russian leadership operates with a different belief system. Only with the establishment of a political system based on the rule of law, integrated into the world economy, accepted as a country that upholds its international obligations and that recognizes the necessity for a federal system (as Former President Boris Yeltsin seemed to grasp) will Russia survive as a state. Matthew Evangelista, Anatoly Lieven, Aleksei Malashenko, Nicolai Petrov, Dmitry Trenin and others are asking the right questions – whether future generations will be able to reach an accommodation with the all the peoples who currently occupy “Russian” space and develop a new political and economic system.
Ira Straus, U.S. coordinator of the Committee on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO:
Expectations of Russia’s break-up are promoted by:
Siloviki who use it to justify expansion of the role of power ministries and a further concentration of power in the executive "vertical." A few ultra-liberals thinking the country would somehow be a better place, or more welcome in the West, or less of a threat, if broken into pieces. And last – and least – ethnic and territorial nationalists who would like to break away.
All three groups are playing with fire.
1. Widespread expectation of a break-up can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
2. Any democrats who promote a break-up paint themselves into the corner as enemies of their society.
3. Secessionists bring war and civil war upon their own people. Look at Chechnya.
The underlying mistake of all three groups is that Russia is a far more stable entity than was the Soviet Union. It is 80-percent ethnic Russian – the figure for the Soviet Union was 80 percent. The analogy to the Soviet experience is false, but frequent, and quite effective as a rhetorical tool; it feeds expectations of break-up. People are aware that the current
Russian Federation is still part-empire, and if the outer two layers of empire broke up, why shouldn’t the inner empire, e.g. in the Caucasus? This point is true enough, except that the main shape and bulk of the country are not likely to change. People who promote a break-up sometimes deny that they're promoting anything at all, saying they're simply describing an "inevitability," or an "objective" tendency (a dodge they learned when justifying the break-up of the Soviet Union). But they proceed to make a point of the good things they imagine would come out of a break-up. And there is little “objective” in their expectations.
In a recent edition of the Moscow News, an author held forth on dividing Siberia from European Russia. This would leave European Russia so small and poor, he argued, and so “European,” that it would have no choice but to join the EU. And the EU would take it, since the main objection – that Russia is “too big” – would no longer be true. The EU’s interest, after all, is in European Russia, not Asian Russia. His hopes are almost comically misguided. European Russia, with 110 million people, would still be far too big for the EU. It would be worse off, not better, as a candidate than Russia Whole, because it would be lacking the mineral wealth that is Russia's only attraction for Europe. And it would be no more “European” than Russia already is today in its population. The formulation that Russia is “too big” serves to foster this mistake. The real problem is that the Russian population is too “big and poor” at the same time (The same is the case for Ukraine.) It would be in the interests of the EU to clarify this matter so there would be fewer destabilizing illusions in the East.
Mistakes like this can lead to the impression that the West wants Russia to break up and is working to this end. The impression is strengthened when a few ultra-Westernizers advocate a break-up and say that this is indeed what the West is waiting for from Russia. “Aha!” – the siloviki respond – “the West is plotting to tear Russia apart. We have to defend Russia by strengthening the executive vertical, keeping our neighbors out of NATO, and supporting counter-revolutionary measures by CIS governments.” And this is yet more foolishness. Painting the West as the organizer of break-up means slipping into a sentimental nationalism. The last thing Russia needs is to renew its phobia about the West as a mortal enemy. Sober Russian leaders need to project expectations of national stability. Sober democrats and Westernizers need to support national territorial unity. Sober Westerners need to avoid giving any impression of wishing for the break-up of Russia.
Gordon Hahn, scholar at large:
In the Volga area, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan are being destabilized for different reasons. In the former, the Tatar intelligentsia and moderate nationalists are in a period of deep re-thinking about strategy for achieving self-determination after Putin’s betrayal of federalism and Tatarstan autonomy. The gradual radicalization of Tatar nationalism is a likely outcome, with the danger that radical Islamic, even some Islamist, elements can capitalize on instability. An indication was the recent arrest near Moscow of a Tatar member of a Tatarstan-based combat jamaat who was preparing a terrorist attack. In Bashkiria, President Murtaza Rakhimov’s relatively hard authoritarian regime has committed mass beatings, falsified elections, and eliminated all free media, sparking a nascent ‘orange revolution’ in May. A similar pattern is present in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia. The last year, there have been mass demonstrations protesting over various nationalist issues in all five of the non-Chechen Muslim republics in the North Caucasus. One only needs to read the excerpts from the presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District, Dmitry Kozak, to President Putin to see that the mega-region is a tinderbox ready to flare into violence and perhaps nationalist and/or Islamic revolution. The situation threatens the stability and integrity of the Russian state, the security of the world’s largest stockpiles of NBC WMDS, and their nonproliferation.
Janusz Bugajski, director of the East Europe Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington:
Putin's critics also warn about Russia's fragmentation: the nationalists and communists because they favor a tighter dictatorship, and the liberals because they argue that Moscow's ultra-centralism will provoke centrifugal forces throughout the federation. Despite all these dire predictions, Russia has thus far held together, partly because Putin has proved to be more vertical than Yeltsin (pun intended), and partly because of inertia. However, Russia's potential disintegration could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Although Putin has calculated that too much democracy would encourage separatism, rising political, regional, and economic aspirations may not be containable by Russia's incompetent bureaucratic and security strata.
However, we should not uncritically assume that the dissolution of the patchwork Russian Federation will be a cataclysm or that the emergence of several new countries will be inevitably destabilizing. An independent Kaliningrad can make faster progress toward Europe, an independent Siberia and Far East may attract more substantial Japanese investment and Chinese entrepreneurship, and independent Muslim republics in the North Caucasus can reduce growing Islamic militancy within Russia. As a more compact and manageable state, Russia itself could undergo more impressive development. It is high time that a sober debate on Russia's future is initiated both inside and outside the country, rather than the incessant warnings of Armageddon by Russian and Western alarmists.
Vlad Sobell, senior economist, Daiwa Research, London:
More than any other country, Russia is also exposed to Islamist terrorism and the instability of failed states in the Caucasus and Central Asia. And Russia’s immense natural resources and land mass must be very tempting to the awakening giant – China.
On the other hand, one can also point to factors working in favor of cohesion. Apart from Chechnya, there are no significant ethnically driven separatist movements, while history has shown that, despite appearances, Russia can summon more than sufficient strength to rebuff potential aggressors. The quality of Russia’s governance has improved markedly since the advent of the Putin regime, with economic regeneration likely to boost the structure’s resilience further.
Given these conflicting factors, the optimum strategy for the Kremlin would be to view Russia’s disintegration as a potential, but not actual or even imminent, scenario. China will likely come to exercise its influence over Russia’s Far East by peaceful economic, not political means, with the prospect of a military confrontation very unlikely. Nevertheless, the Kremlin must be vigilant in the same way as a captain of a massive oil tanker must be aware of his ship’s structural weaknesses and the coming storms. The regime’s critics have alleged that the Kremlin is whipping up its concerns to justify its “authoritarianism”. This may well be the case. However, when influential Washington lobbies harbor the Chechen terrorists or spare no effort to promote their favorite oilman, Mikhail Khodorkovsky,the Kremlin’s paranoia is probably not without foundations.
* Patrick Armstrong, defense analyst for the Canadian government Andrei Amalrik wondered whether the Soviet Union would hang together until 1984. He concluded that it wouldn’t – a catastrophic war with China would kill it. Since then, it has been fashionable to predict the bloody collapse of the Soviet Union or, today, Russia. There’s been blood, to be sure, since 1991, in Georgia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Transdnestr and Chechnya. But, callous as it may sound, not as much blood as was shed in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire or the Austrian Empire. Or the Tsarist Empire. Who, outside Finland, remembers the Finnish Civil War? Twenty thousand people died in it. Imperial collapses are inevitably bloody, because newly independent peoples struggle for space. The collapse of the Soviet Empire is far from the worst.
So what holds Russia together?
As Adam Smith observed, there is a lot of ruin in a country: It takes a lot to produce real collapse. And it’s clear that Russia hasn’t arrived there. First, and perhaps most important, the average Russian is rubbing along. Opinion polls show that most Russians will grudgingly (Russians love pessimism) admit that life, for themselves and their families, is not too bad and getting a bit better. Secondly, Russia is not a country created by an international conference a few decades ago. A thousand years creates a real existence – Russia has been an international player for centuries. “Russia” actually means something. That’s glue. Thirdly – and not trivial in the Russian case – there is no destroyer pushing them over – no Polevstians, Mongols, Poles, Swedes, Napoleon, Hitler. Finally: What’s the choice? Everywhere you dig in Russia you find skulls. Russians have lived, tasted and mourned real collapse. Russia will overcome its present difficulties, as it has before, and re-appear as an important country, united from Gospodin Veliky Novgorod to Vladivostok.
*Donald Jensen, director of communications, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty The way you pose the question reflects an important, but unfortunate tendency: Russia usually defines itself in terms of its geographic expanse rather than by values, institutions or even, recently, culture. That many Russians dread a "bloody cataclysm" shows that they are unified by fear and history, as well as by language, kinship, economic ties, and coercion. None of these factors ensures Russia's viability in the 21st century. Russia's socioeconomic decline, which began in the 1980s and is measured by indicators such as declining life expectancy and social equality, continues. State power, noteworthy for its corrupt, uncoordinated bureacraticization, is mired in a crisis of effectiveness. More than ever, the state appears not only incapable of mobilizing the country for national purposes, it appears unable to understand the difference between national purpose and private aggrandizement.
Vladimir Putin came to power ostensibly to slow or reverse this decline. He could have tried to manage the inevitable ebb of power from the Center and pushed it in a more democratic direction. This would have meant helping to redefine Russia in a way that would accommodate the society's emerging centers of power, strengthening the rule of law, and ending its traditional, imperial, mindset. Instead, he has tried to recentralize power, in the process making the state responsible for more, even as it delivered less. This has not only enhanced the authoritarian elements at the top, but – since the re-centralization has been ragged and incomplete – pushed the Russian state from a crisis of effectiveness toward a crisis of legitimacy.
At the end of the Yeltsin period, Thomas Graham wrote an article which enraged many Russians, "World without Russia," which argued that the country's decline, already a long-term trend, might be permanent due to the pace of political, economic and military change in the modern world. What is noteworthy today, well into the second Putin term, is that the problems Mr. Graham raised remain or, in some cases, have deepened. Russia need not fall apart as a result of these trends, but Putin's squandering of his opportunity to reverse them increases the odds that Russia's decline will be permanent. Læs mere...tilmeld her!
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