Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Russia falters---what will Putin do?

Without a doubt the Russian economy is in serious trouble. The currency is in free-fall and share market is carving billions off its value, meaning that the cronies Putin helped to buy off the assets of the Russian people are also becoming nothing more than junk! This leaves Putin in a difficult position, one that he has not experienced in quite the same manner. He is used to adulation and a certain amount of success. How long will the Russian people hold him in high regard? How will he react when the streets fill with 'discontent?' How will he treat the criticism that is inevitably coming his way? Will he look for a 'scapegoat'? We have seen how he marginalized the gay community with his heartless comments and we have witnessed his policies re the Crimea and Ukraine. Will he look west towards the Baltic States and enter into a new era of expansionism, much like his predecessors in the Soviet period of history? Perhaps he is not so different to other leaders and other 'big power' politicians in the 'west' or China. One does not have to look too far to find examples of economic expansionism or fraudulent politics. Let's keep some balance re how we see the events as they unfold in Russia and keep the door open so that the Russian Bear is not cornered to the point that it has no option other than to respond. This a time to reach out, not exacerbate the situation in Russia. It is for Russia to find the solution to its problems, some of which Putin sincerely believes are the result of Western interference, rather than his own actions. Time will give us the answer but we may not like it!

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