Spoiler: Even though Russia has not been exposed to any external threat since the collapse of the Soviet Union, its military expenditures have increased massively since 1999. The media often present confusing and incorrect pictures of the size and developments of Russian military expenditures. This is often due to incorrect conversion of roubles to dollars without taking the lower Russian prices in to account. It is, however, not necessary to convert military expenditures to dollars to compare Russia’s military expenditures to other countries’. Relating countries’ expenditures to other government expenditures in current prices and local currencies give a correct picture of governments’ priorities. Applying that method shows that the Russian government prioritises its military before its people.
Spoiler: The Kremlin lies again. We ought to be used to it by now since Kremlin has been vomiting lies especially about its war crimes in Syria and Ukraine. But the Kremlin has taken its lies to a new level recently. This year it is 75 years ago since the WWII ended. In Soviet and Russia, it has been commemorated as the Great Patriotic War which means that they prefer to forget Stalin’s alliance with Hitler which started the war.
The existence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and its secret protocol was acknowledged by the Soviet Union during the Perestroika. However, Putin seems to regret this. Not just regret it but unbelievable enough even blame Poland for being attacked by the Nazis and Soviet Union.
Spoiler: When Putin became president, he had a golden opportunity to make Russia a prosperous country. But instead of introducing reforms that would benefit ordinary Russians, he turned Russia into an autocracy and enriched himself and his cronies. Russia’s institutions are designed to make Putin and his oligarchs wealthy and prevent any real opposition to his power.
He’s taken control of the media, abolished the judiciary’s independence, manipulated elections, clamped down on the civil society, journalists, opposition leaders and parties. Furthermore, he has grossly violated his population’s civil rights and even used murder as one of his means.
Spoiler. Once a year or so, Putin addresses the Russian people. During these shows, he likes to boost about Russia’s super weapons. He also boosts about the technological capacity, or even superiority of Russia. But the explosion at the White Sea casts some doubt about Putin’s claims. The development of these nuclear driven missiles is a technology that the US for good reasons decided not to pursue decades ago.
The above-mentioned failure reflects the disastrous economic policy that has turned Russia into a low-productive economy with weak innovation capacity. But Putin does not care about ordinary Russians welfare. What he does care about is keeping the grip on power and protecting his oligarchs’ wealth.