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The last year of Putin’s Russia

The last year of Putin’s Russia
Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated at the parliamentary hearings in the Federation Council that in 2017 Russia will no longer be able to cover  budget deficits from the Reserve Fund.

“2016 is the last year when we will be able to spend our reserves that way,” he said. “And then we will no longer have these reserves. Therefore the question about consolidating the budget is the number one task on our agenda.”

If Siluanov’s words are translated from the language of budgets, it would be possible to draw a simple conclusion. The year 2016 is the last year in the existence of modern Russia. The last year when Putin will still be able to pay his subjects money they have not earned. Because what is the situation today? In the Russian budget, despite all the cuts, there are still substantial social expenses, money allocated for public sector wages, including law enforcement officers — huge expenses for the army and the security services, this greedy apparatus of a mad regime. But what happens if the price of oil goes down or money is withdrawn from the budget for Putin’s adventures, such as war in Ukraine or Syria? Nothing special — the deficit is covered by funds from the reserve fund.

But in 2017 these opportunities will be gone. And perhaps even earlier. Given that Russia is governed by kleptomaniacs, Siluanov’s words could become a real trigger for them. Confirmation that the looting of Mother Russia needs to happen as soon as possible before Russia gives out her last breath under the Chekist (KGB — Ed.) boot. And they will finish looting her, rest assured. I believe in them.

By the end of 2016, delays in the payments of salaries and pensions will begin. Of course, the first ones to suffer will be doctors and teachers, but events will catch up with the police and security officers as well. All social programs will fold, enterprises will close down, workers will be dismissed. The service sector will collapse because the purchasing power of the population will shrink. This will become the last nail in the coffin of Russian small and medium businesses and will throw new millions of the unemployed into the street. The government will try to control the situation primarily in Moscow because, in fact, when the entire country eats grass and Moscow eats caviar this is equivalent to stability in Russia. But before the end of 2017 there will not be enough money for Moscow or for anything else, not even the army. Soldiers will be begging in the streets. Police will demand bribes, will engage in robbery, will hire out as guards to criminals. The security services will diligently begin to serve the new mafia. Oligarchs will flee the country. Social unrest will begin, the crime level will rise. Russia will plunge back into the early 1990s, with protests, strikes, criminality and hopelessness — but with a far more brutal regime than the Gorbachev government.

By that time people will already begin to forget about Putin’s political adventures. The territorial integrity of the Ukrainian mainland will be restored. The impoverished Crimea will still be controlled by Russia, but negotiations about its return to Ukraine — allowing Putin to save face — will be going full swing. Other geopolitical projects of the last emperor of Russian chauvinists will fold as well.

And all this will only be the beginning of the end.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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