The Russian government’s current military campaign in Ukraine is primarily to allow for Vladimir Putin to remain in power. The Kremlin is using the military campaign to scare a potential coup and keep everything under its control. Professor at the Higher School of Economic and Social Sciences Boris Kagarlitsky, an activist with a history of being punished for dissent in both Brezhnev and Yeltsin terms, has been labeled a “foreign agent.” It’s as if his life hasn’t changed much.
“You must not believe anything the Kremlin says”
Russia sent troops to different regions of Ukraine, including Kyiv, but reassured the world that its only target was the Donbass region. Can we believe it?
On the one hand, it makes sense to believe reports when they come from credible sources, but on the other hand, you need to be careful. The Kremlin has given not only different but contradictory explanations for the assassination. That doesn’t mean that there is no specific reason for the operation. When Western and Russian writers try to find a political or ideological framework in order to guide government actions, they idealize Russian officials. Russia doesn’t work like this.
With the last notable exception of a few office workers, no figure in the ruling class is going to even consider arguments for serious reform. This is because Russian commodity capitalism only works when other countries have shortages and it’s interested in buying their limited resources. It preys on these conditions so that consumers need to turn to Russia’s businesses to get what they need.
Can Ukraine remain part of a larger idea, not necessarily be restored as an empire, but restore influence in the world?
Putin’s only goal is Putin himself. And what better way to keep him in power than by keeping him in power? They say he attacked Ukraine to take Ukraine for himself. I believe that he needed this event to increase support for his Presidency. It has been a great propaganda campaign, but it seems like it was a miscalculation from the start when they set the three-day campaign length. However, this war has gone on for over 3 months now because of the ad campaign’s shortcomings.
Why do you think so many people support Vladimir Putin?
Most Russians have not even heard of the war. Of course, the country has a significant amount of mass media such as TV and Propaganda, but since 90% or 95% of the population refuses to answer sociologists, they wonder why. And they explain that most are on the side of the opposition and want to keep their true feelings either private or submerged. But in reality, only 20% of Russians are interested in politics.
The polls tell us that Russians trust Putin to lead their country.
Polls in Russia are not representative. There aren’t any surveys of the region, and since the events unfolding, it’s getting more important to understand politics. The number of people in Russia who care about political developments is growing, but there are downsides. For example, if a factory stops working or some sanctions are put in place, people will be wondering why they’re losing their job. And then they’ll find out that the situation’s unfolding because of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“The responsibility for what is happening now lies with Putin and his team, but this does not remove the responsibility of a more complex process.”
It’s no doubt that Russia has its troops in Ukraine, but what about the role of the country’s leaders?
The process is much more complicated, but the fact is that Russia’s military has since entered Ukraine. This latest development makes it clear that responsibility for what is happening now lies with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his team. Many are also asking why the U.S. hasn’t done more to stop it. The clock only starts ticking when Russia returns its troops; until then, no one is completely innocent, though the Ukrainian elite should be held responsible for much of what happened in the last 10 years because they led the Donbass region into a full-blown crisis in their watch in 2014. It’s significant that even when faced with potentially breaking up this crisis by negotiating with separatists, who wanted autonomy or federalism rather than secession or joining Russia, Ukrainians refused to see them as partners – giving Putin plenty of opportunities to intervene.
“Russia is a global power, and they need the world market to function.”
The Soviet Union was one of the major powers during its time. Russia, having been born after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, has struggled to find success since then. Do they have any hope of achieving a similar power status in the future?
A funny story came up a few days ago. A worker at FEA was asked to turn on the refrigerator in order to throw away some leftover food for the production of weapons. But he found something shocking: Inside the fridge is just a pile of empty refrigerators, with chips extracted from each one. There’s no technology or equipment inside. The Soviet economy and Russia have nothing in common; the Soviet economy was huge and industrial, using as many elements as possible to increase production, while the Russian economy is based on raw materials and consumerism. It will take 10 years to create an industrial-rich economy, and it must be done in isolation!
For the past few years, Russia has been discussing economic diversification with other countries.
It’s no secret that Russia has had ten years to replace its own production with imports. But for some reason, it wasn’t something they were willing to do. Now it will be too late and impossible for them to turn back. That said, there should be enough food reserves to last a period of two weeks to two months in certain fields of activity. Pilots in smaller provincial airlines are abandoning planes already; Aeroflot is dismantling airplanes as parts for other aircraft.
However, the people will understand what is really happening. The Kremlin may find itself in an unbearable social situation.
Unless groups of people show up to organize, try to change or mobilize and influence the center, the problem won’t change or improve.
When it comes to preparing for your business launch, phrases can make a big difference. Is your idea of the vague operation far away? If people hear the word “war” they might panic. What about “special military operation”? In this case, people probably have a clearer picture in their heads and mind, which means it may be harder for someone to tell you no, especially early on in your launch process.
There could be other factors involved.
As we discussed earlier, one of the biggest dangers in any dictatorship is going through a power vacuum. These types of power vacuums are usually filled with political turmoil and uncertainty, leaving orders in a difficult state of flux and causing serious issues for the regime. The question is, how does a dictatorship avoid this problem? One technique would be to write up new constitutions for sudden changes in your country’s leader, but despite Vladimir Putin’s age and health, there is no guarantee that he will live long enough to see these new features put into effect. It’s not a perfect solution, but it could serve as an extra line of defense for a dictator looking for its longevity.
In Russia, the word used for war is a special operation.
When it comes to war, people are often worried and want to be told what’s happening. The good news is that information is coming very slowly at this time and so everyone must try to convince them otherwise. Propaganda can help in this case. In any event, facts are facts. Reality will penetrate people’s minds, but only slowly – sometimes not even at all.