UK News 24 – WWBR.
Ukraine has seen a political revolution, two elections, nearly economic collapse and a Russian invasion resulting in a war that has ravaged the country.
Yet for all his efforts, real reform appears to be starting to take hold in Ukraine. “The Financial Times” recently reported that the country is on the right road, but while Russia is beefing up its forces at the border, threatening a new offensive By all accounts, the situation in Ukraine remains precarious.
MOSCOW – For twenty years, Ukraine did nothing, but Now things are starting to happen. This process will take ten years, at least. But Ukrainians are going see positive changes within three to five years.
Ukraine is moving away from Russia and moving toward the civilized democratic world, And that with no doubt is what Putin fears the most. If Ukraine follows the path of Poland, the Baltics and Georgia, ordinary Russians will begin to wonder why they are being left behind. That will leave the Russian President with only two options—reform the corrupt Russian system or make his regime even more oppressive, both of which will cause him further problems that, given his regime’s weakened state.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of his intention to destroy the country, even going so far as to deny that it is, in fact, a country. For those who are familiar with Putin’s regime, this is hardly surprising. A successful, vibrant and democratic neighbor on Russia’s border would only serve to remind his constituents how repressive and ineffectual his rule has become.
The sanctions imposed by the West could bring down the Russian leader. Now, faced with a crumbling economy, rampant corruption and international isolation many believe that Putin is fighting for his political survival. Clearly, he cannot afford Ukraine to become a model for his disgruntled countrymen.
While russia risks a repeat of doomed Afghan war in Syria.
“Russia’s economy is like the sun: if you stare at its smoldering ruins for too long, you’ll go blind”, a Russian journalist said once.
Russia doesn’t have an economy so much as an oil-exporting business that subsidizes everything else. But it can’t subsidize much when prices are only $30-a-barrel. That leaves Russia in a really bad situation.
Cheaper oil means that Russian companies have fewer dollars to turn into rubles, which is just another way of saying that there’s less demand for rubles—so its price is falling. But it can’t fall too much or Russian companies, who have a lot of dollar debts they can’t roll over due to Western sanctions, won’t be able to pay back what they owe. Even worse, Russia banks could face a run on their foreign currency holdings, as people try to turn rubles they think will lose value into dollars.
Russia can’t wake up from this economic nightmare, though, because they’re not asleep. This is their reality. After falling in almost perfect tandem with oil for most of the year, the ruble started free falling . In under a week, it went from 55 to 75 rubles per dollar—a 36 percent decline.
Russia, in other words, is doomed as long as oil is cheap and sanctions are in place. It could survive either alone. But together, they destroy Russia’s economy and its ability to borrow to cover that up. And unlike 2008, when oil prices rebounded rather quickly, this crisis could last awhile. After all, if you think Putin is going to back down in Ukraine anytime soon, well, think again.
The government, for its part, is trying to put a brave face on this bleak economic picture. One Kremlin official went so far as to say that the Russian people are prepared to “eat less” to support Putin. Maybe that’s why Putin doesn’t allow real elections—because that’s not much of a slogan, and when it comes to Putin’s foreign adventures, the west just need to sit back and watch and wait for it to happen, how long Vladimir Putin can hold?
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