July 9, 2019

THANKS, UR!:

Russia's Stagnation Pushes Kremlin to Renew Pressure on Georgia (Pavel K. Baev, June 25, 2019, Eurasia Daily monitor)

 Russian President Vladimir Putin likely suspects that the real economic situation in his country is worse than the officially registered sluggish growth and that the erosion of his popularity goes deeper than the slight decline reported by semi-official pollsters (Carnegie.ru, June 20). During his annual televised question-and-answer show, which also aired on June 20, Putin tried to reassure the population that their social needs were being prioritized. And yet, Russians have few reasons to be satisfied with his performance, and viewership numbers of this tired show fell to a new low (Kommersant, June 21). The contraction in personal incomes continues despite his assertions to the contrary (Vedomosti, June 24). Moreover, stagnation is no longer comfortable for Russia's predatory elites, because it generates social discontent rather than apathy, and there is no way to quell such feelings among the populace by continuing to distribute only symbolic gifts (Rosbalt, June 21).

The sudden quarrel with Georgia thus provided the policy-manipulators in the Kremlin with a perfect opportunity to produce a distraction from these unhappy domestic developments. 

Posted by at July 9, 2019 12:39 PM

  

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