The ex-USSR Thread

  • Thread starter Rage Racer
  • 61 comments
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4,415
Russian Federation
Moscow
Rage_Racer_VOLK
RageRacer48
A thread to discuss news and share opinions about what's going on in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), the states of South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) and the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and others).

Current hot topics:

Protests in Belarus
Poisoning of Alexey Navalny
Hostilies between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

This Sunday, the situation in Karabakh got way hotter than in 2016. If some people are unaware, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), also known as Republic of Artsakh (as this region is called in Armenian), is a de-facto independent (after the war in 1988-1994) unrecognized state populated mostly by Armenians, and Azerbaijan claims it as its "occupied territory".

Some clashes had happened in July of this year, but this time Azerbaijan starts offensive on NKR with heavy weapons - tanks, aviation and artillery. Serious casualties are reported on both sides.

Turkish president Erdogan expressed support to Azerbaijan in its efforts to regain the "occupied" territory. The UN, Russia, USA, Iran and others express "deepest concern", blah blah blah and so on.
 
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Dotini

Premium
15,091
United States
Seattle
CR80_Shifty
A thread to discuss news and share opinions about what's going on in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), the states of South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) and the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and others).

Current hot topics:

Protests in Belarus
Poisoning of Alexey Navalny
Hostilies between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

This Sunday, the situation in Karabakh got way hotter than in 2016. If some people are unaware, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), also known as Republic of Artsakh (as this region is called in Armenian), is a de-facto independent (after the war in 1988-1994) unrecognized state populated mostly by Armenians, and Azerbaijan claims it as its "occupied territory".

Some clashes had happened in July of this year, but this time Azerbaijan starts offensive on NKR with heavy weapons - tanks, aviation and artillery. Serious casualties are reported on both sides.

Turkish president Erdogan expressed support to Azerbaijan in its efforts to regain the "occupied" territory. The UN, Russia, USA, Iran and others express "deepest concern", blah blah blah and so on.
There's a handful of Russians in my town that I do business with so I'm somewhat interested in goings-on there, but more the minor stuff than the hot news. If you run across weird stories coming out of Siberia or the Urals, I will be interested.
 
71
New Zealand
New Zealand
Cool thread. I saw some of the exploding tank footage coming out of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Hope this doesn't escalate.
 
1,789
Australia
Australia
Decepticon 47
Cool thread. I saw some of the exploding tank footage coming out of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Hope this doesn't escalate.

Its escalating also the sides have been drawn. Armenia is backed by Russia while Azerbaijan is backed by Turkey.

If you noticed it seems Turkey and Russia are at loggerheads in Syria, Libya and the Caucasus. Both are in a state of proxy war against each other. They come together on a lot of issues while at the same time indirectly trying to cut each other. Overall Russia is much stronger than Turkey. Not to say Turkey is a pushover they have proved themselves many times but on a one on one fight they would lose to russia. Neither I believe Nato would come to aid Turkey unless the situation is dire for the country.

Lots of footage of casualties from both sides even dead bodies.

Turkey and Azerbaijans relationship is like Australias and New Zealands. They are inseparable. But Turkey and Azerbaijan despite their language being nearly the same they are both different in a lot of areas not just religion. Interesting to see how a Sunni majority country is really close with a Shia one.

Im really thinking Russia and Turkey are going to allow both to duck it out before a ceasefire is called. I dont think either will intervene. Perfect time to be in the arms business because Russia, Israel and Turkey all want to mop up those arms deals.

@Rage Racer honestly this is a great thread thank you a lot. Crazy to see how the collapse of the Soviet union still affects our world.
 
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4,415
Russian Federation
Moscow
Rage_Racer_VOLK
RageRacer48
Its escalating also the sides have been drawn. Armenia is backed by Russia while Azerbaijan is backed by Turkey.
Well, it's not that simple.
Armenia is a member of CSTO (a NATO-like military organization where Russia, Belarus and 3 other post-Soviet states are present), and Russia has a military base in Armenia. But, RF does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as independent or Armenia's (neither even Armenia itself does), so an aggression against NKR does not yet mean aggression against Armenia (that would trigger Russia and other CSTO members to respond militarily). Besides, RF's ability to support Armenia is pretty limited - you'll see that if you look at the map.
_114669926_nagorno-karabakh_conflict_map_v2_640-nc.png

Armenia doesn't have a border with Russia. Georgia has locked its territory to Russian military transports and Azerbaijan apparently will, too - so it leaves only Iran to supply anything through - as long as Iran allows.

Russia is rather in a moderator's position here than taking anyone's side. Moscow doesn't want to brawl with Azerbaijan, either - the yearly trade turnover between the two is ~$3 billion, while that of Russia and Armenia is ~$2 billion.

I'm not an expert but I'd say from my couch in Moscow that Russia takes a more or less neutral stance in the Karabakh conflict, but aligns a bit more to Armenia - especially when it was Azerbaijan who started the fires this time. There is also an opinion that Russia would not want Nagorno-Karabakh to be taken over by Azerbaijan as this would reinforce the influence of Turkey (who is actively helping Baku) in the region.

Crazy to see how the collapse of the Soviet union still affects our world.
Yes. Although I believe communism was a failure, I'm also sure that the dissolution of the USSR was a mistake, too. The Union should have been reformed, not torn into pieces.

Nagorno-Karabakh is just one of the time bombs that exploded after the USSR's collapse - among others, such as Abkhazia, Ossetia, Transnistria, Chechnya, Donbass (not so long time ago) and more. It's worth admiting that the Soviet Union had a lot of problems to deal with in the '80s, but its collapse and the ethnic conflicts flaming up on its outskirts brought a lot of suffering to millions of people.
 
8,816
United States
Marin County
Its escalating also the sides have been drawn. Armenia is backed by Russia while Azerbaijan is backed by Turkey.

If you noticed it seems Turkey and Russia are at loggerheads in Syria, Libya and the Caucasus. Both are in a state of proxy war against each other. They come together on a lot of issues while at the same time indirectly trying to cut each other. Overall Russia is much stronger than Turkey. Not to say Turkey is a pushover they have proved themselves many times but on a one on one fight they would lose to russia. Neither I believe Nato would come to aid Turkey unless the situation is dire for the country.

Lots of footage of casualties from both sides even dead bodies.

Turkey and Azerbaijans relationship is like Australias and New Zealands. They are inseparable. But Turkey and Azerbaijan despite their language being nearly the same they are both different in a lot of areas not just religion. Interesting to see how a Sunni majority country is really close with a Shia one.

Im really thinking Russia and Turkey are going to allow both to duck it out before a ceasefire is called. I dont think either will intervene. Perfect time to be in the arms business because Russia, Israel and Turkey all want to mop up those arms deals.

@Rage Racer honestly this is a great thread thank you a lot. Crazy to see how the collapse of the Soviet union still affects our world.

Though obviously not as big a player as either Turkey or Russia, Iran is very close culturally (there are a lot of Azeris in Iran) and economically with Baku and I imagine they would throw their weight behind Azerbaijan. But they are also close/dependent on Russia in some ways. The entangled alliances in the middle east are something else...
 
5,756
Simcoeace
Yes. Although I believe communism was a failure, I'm also sure that the dissolution of the USSR was a mistake, too. The Union should have been reformed, not torn into pieces.

Nagorno-Karabakh is just one of the time bombs that exploded after the USSR's collapse - among others, such as Abkhazia, Ossetia, Transnistria, Chechnya, Donbass (not so long time ago) and more. It's worth admiting that the Soviet Union had a lot of problems to deal with in the '80s, but its collapse and the ethnic conflicts flaming up on its outskirts brought a lot of suffering to millions of people.

Good idea to have this thread as not much attention is paid to Russia & its satellite states. I have a couple of questions for you. You (like many in Russia) seem to be a supporter of Vladimir Putin. I can't understand how anyone can support any politician who clings to power for more than 20 years. This inevitably leads to corruption & incompetence on a massive scale ... & not just in Russia. With a long-term, authoritarian leader in power it's hard to see how Russia has changed that much from the days of Communism.

Related to this, how is it that Russia remains so under-developed as an economic power. Currently, the GDP of Russia, a country with a population of 146 million, a great deal of technical know-how & with vast reserves of natural resources, is less than that of Canada with a population of less than 38 million. While China's economy has grown by about 3,000% since 1990, the economy of Russia has barely doubled. It's a pretty miserable record which makes it hard to understand why Putin remains popular in Russia. Perhaps you could explain the situation from the perspective of a young Russian millennial?
 
1,789
Australia
Australia
Decepticon 47
Well, it's not that simple.
Armenia is a member of CSTO (a NATO-like military organization where Russia, Belarus and 3 other post-Soviet states are present), and Russia has a military base in Armenia. But, RF does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as independent or Armenia's (neither even Armenia itself does), so an aggression against NKR does not yet mean aggression against Armenia (that would trigger Russia and other CSTO members to respond militarily). Besides, RF's ability to support Armenia is pretty limited - you'll see that if you look at the map.
_114669926_nagorno-karabakh_conflict_map_v2_640-nc.png

Armenia doesn't have a border with Russia. Georgia has locked its territory to Russian military transports and Azerbaijan apparently will, too - so it leaves only Iran to supply anything through - as long as Iran allows.

Russia is rather in a moderator's position here than taking anyone's side. Moscow doesn't want to brawl with Azerbaijan, either - the yearly trade turnover between the two is ~$3 billion, while that of Russia and Armenia is ~$2 billion.

I'm not an expert but I'd say from my couch in Moscow that Russia takes a more or less neutral stance in the Karabakh conflict, but aligns a bit more to Armenia - especially when it was Azerbaijan who started the fires this time. There is also an opinion that Russia would not want Nagorno-Karabakh to be taken over by Azerbaijan as this would reinforce the influence of Turkey (who is actively helping Baku) in the region.


Yes. Although I believe communism was a failure, I'm also sure that the dissolution of the USSR was a mistake, too. The Union should have been reformed, not torn into pieces.

Nagorno-Karabakh is just one of the time bombs that exploded after the USSR's collapse - among others, such as Abkhazia, Ossetia, Transnistria, Chechnya, Donbass (not so long time ago) and more. It's worth admiting that the Soviet Union had a lot of problems to deal with in the '80s, but its collapse and the ethnic conflicts flaming up on its outskirts brought a lot of suffering to millions of people.

Another thing to Russia and Armenia are not ethnically related. Russia has its bases and sells weapons. If Azerbaijan starts crossing into Armenia that will trigger a response. Another thing that could trigger a response if Turkey intervenes. I doubt Russia is going to allow Turkey to increase its influence. Many talks about how war was going to happen between both countries. But im happy how cool heads won over the day.

I know race or ethnicity plays no role in geopolitics or maybe just a factor. Turkey is heavily backing Azerbaijan because it is its gateway into the Caucasus and Central Asia also the pipelines which Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia invested for oil and gas. The Turks and Azerbaijanis are also Turkic peoples and Turkish and Azerbaijani come from the same Oghuz Turkic roots hence why the languages between both are easily understandable for a lot of Turks it comes to the belief that we have to back Azerbaijan all the way without question.

Another factor too is Turkey and Armenia have problems that date back to the late 1800s with the Armenian national movement for independance, constant rebellions, massacres and the subsequent genocide or massacre in ww1 and the Turkish independance war. The Armenians demanding land and economic concessions has all but disturbed the Turks because it is part of the sevres syndrome.

Sevres Syndrome still plays a role in Turkey hence why paranoia and conspiracy theories play a role in how Turks can look at the world. We see the world as if the whole world is our enemy that will try to split our nation to bring upon another sevres.

Russia basically trades both with Azerbaijan and Armenia while selling weapons to both. Interesting how the Turks and Israelis have taken advantage of the conflict to sell weapons to Azerbaijan.

I seen footage of the fighting all I can say is the Azerbaijanis and Armenians are really making it graphic with destruction of tanks and dead bodies. Both are posting bodies of dead soldiers and constant destruction of their enemies pretty awful to be honest. Shows how internet has made war more interactive also as way for propaganda to hit an enemies morale.

For people who want to see it. If you cant stomach such things i suggest not watching it because its really graphic.
 
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4,415
Russian Federation
Moscow
Rage_Racer_VOLK
RageRacer48
Good idea to have this thread as not much attention is paid to Russia & its satellite states. I have a couple of questions for you. You (like many in Russia) seem to be a supporter of Vladimir Putin. I can't understand how anyone can support any politician who clings to power for more than 20 years. This inevitably leads to corruption & incompetence on a massive scale ... & not just in Russia. With a long-term, authoritarian leader in power it's hard to see how Russia has changed that much from the days of Communism.
Good questions.

Well, I wouldn't call myself much of a Putin supporter. My view on him is about 50/50. IMO, he's far from a perfect leader, but apparently not the worst compared to what we could have instead.

The "more than 20 years in power" part needs some notes. In the president elections of 2008, Putin wasn't allowed to take part because of two terms limit, so his ally Dmitri Medvedev ran instead, and won. Putin was assigned as the prime minister (Russia is a president-parliamentary republic, and the prime minister is accountable to the president), and was taking this office until 2012 (the next elections where he was allowed to run again). Shortly before that, a change was made to the RF Constitution to extend one presidential term from four years to six. So, after being re-elected in 2018, Putin is currently serving his second term in a row, and fourth overall, technically leading the country for 16 years, not 20.

But. There are more constitution amendments made just recently, in July 2020. Among other things (such as priority of the Russian Constitution over the international law, definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and more) there is also a proposal to re-zero the number of terms of the current president. Which means, Putin will be allowed to run for president two more times. However, he'll be 71 years old by the next elections (2024), so it's not certain whether he will run for 6 more years of presidency or not (not to mention 12).

Is it good or bad? Well, what you guys on the West call "dictatorship" is known here as "stability". Putin isn't the longest serving president in the former USSR, where Alexander Lukashenko and Emomali Rahmon (the presidents of Belarus and Tajikistan respectively) are both in power for about the same time as North Korea's last two leaders combined - since 1994. There are more examples outside the former Soviet Union, of leaders who governed their countries for over a decade with decent results. Take Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, who was a prime minister in 1959-1990 and developed his third world country into one of the leading economies of the region. Or Angela Merkel, who's leading Germany since 2005 (1 year shorter than Putin and 3 years longer than a certain other well-known German politician :D) but no one calls her a corrupt dictator. Or Japan's Shinzo Abe... well, not exactly - he resigned just recently after serving 9 years in total - about the same time as Kim Jong Un is in power now.

Alright, fine. I don't mind Putin being replaced. But for who? There's simply no decent opposing politician to entrust the president office to. Alexey Navalny, who is often dubbed as "the leader of the Russian opposition", IMO, is nothing more than a loudly whining populist with criminal record (that effectively bans him from entering the presidential race). I woundn't entrust him a pizzeria, let alone a country with nukes. Pavel Grudinin? No way I'm voting for communists. Vladimir Zhirinovsky? He's a funny man, and if we lived in a simulation, I'd probably click "SAVE" button and then make him our president, to grab popcorn and see what happens. But it's the goddamn real world...

Related to this, how is it that Russia remains so under-developed as an economic power. Currently, the GDP of Russia, a country with a population of 146 million, a great deal of technical know-how & with vast reserves of natural resources, is less than that of Canada with a population of less than 38 million. While China's economy has grown by about 3,000% since 1990, the economy of Russia has barely doubled. It's a pretty miserable record which makes it hard to understand why Putin remains popular in Russia. Perhaps you could explain the situation from the perspective of a young Russian millennial?
Here. This graph will explain.
1200px-GDP_of_Russia_since_1989.svg.png

The country's collapse (and the failed economic reforms of the early '90s) also crippled the economy. The Boris Yeltsin's era, 1991-1999, is know in Russia as "The harsh nineties" (Лихие девяностые), and were known for sky high crime rates, corruption, unemployment, hyperinflation, poverty, terrorism, exhausting war in Chechnya and more. China was growing rapidly in the '90s while Russia was diving for the bottom, and this bottom was hit in 1998, which resulted in a default.

It's understandable why Putin is popular especially among older generations - after all the mess Russia went through in the '90s, this country became somewhat stable and livable under his rule. The current generations of Russians never lived better than under Putin's reign - neither under communists nor under "democrat" Yeltsin.

VVP is less popular among younger people who were born after the start of his rule or in the late '90s so they don't remember life before Putin. I was born shortly (two months) after Yeltsin shot the parliament with tanks (October 3-4, 1993, just 27 years ago) and was a little kid in the late '90s, but I remember what my parents had to deal with.

By the way, I find it hypocrite how the US is accusing Russia of meddling in 2016 elections although the US openly helped Yeltsin get re-elected in 1996.

Also, I tried comparing Canadian and Russian economies and didn't find where Canada's GDP is higher than Russia's. If only you mean GDP per capita, but it’s inversely proportional to population.

Here are the tables based on IMF data:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Canada#Data
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Russia#Data

If you compare Russia and Canada when talking about Putin’s achievements, don’t forget to take a look at what Russia was like in 2000 (just after Yeltsin’s retirement) and how Canada was doing meanwhile.
Russia’s GDP grew up from US$1,635.3 billion in 2000 (start of Putin’s presidency) to $4,227.4 bn in 2018 (the year of Putin’s last re-election) - by 2.59 times, or 159%. The GDP per capita increased from $11,170 to $28,797 (by 158%).

For the same period, Canada’s GDP growth was from US$910.9 billion to $1,838.3 bn (102%), and GDP per capita changed from $29,723 to $49,690 (67%).

Thus, it’s not Putin’s fault why an average Russian isn’t as wealthy as an average North American or West European today. I’d say Yeltsin and his government are to blame for this, and even earlier - the stagnation of the Soviet economy in the ‘80s, which was one of the things that caused the country to crumble.

I hope I answered your questions now.
 
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5,756
Simcoeace
The machinations by which Putin has remained the de facto leader of Russia are pretty transparent. Do you really believe that Putin was subordinate to Medvedev while he was Prime Minister? Comparisons to Lukashenko & Rahmon just highlight the problem. "Stability" - OK - but what is the cost of "stability"? Mature political systems need the ability to transfer power periodically without a collapse in stability. Angela Merkel's grip on power in Germany is not comparable to that of Putin in Russia - she has relied on a coalition of allies to remain Chancellor & in any case has stated her intention to step down in 2021. She has been described as "one of the most widely admired and broadly influential statespeople of our time" - not a description likely to be applied internationally to Putin.

The IMF tables you link to list GDP based on PPP (purchasing power parity) which is a quite different thing from "real GDP". In terms of real GDP (expressed in US dollars) the Canadian economy produced a higher GDP (1,736,425.63) than Russia (1,699,876.58) in 2019.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD

It's not really fair to compare Russia to China in terms of economic growth, as China was really starting from a low point where there was a lot of room for strong growth. Similarly, it's not realistic to compare Canada - which is a mature, advanced economy with Russia. Nevertheless, growth in Russia has been extremely sluggish & heavily dependent on the unstable fluctuations in the price of oil. Russia has many structural problems, including suffering from a negative population growth ... as Canada would be, if not for immigration. This is likely to have long-term deleterious effects on the Russian economy. Putin's appeal to the nationalist instincts of many Russians is from an old, tried-&-tested political play-book & is not likely to bring increased stability or prosperity to Russia.

The whole thing is somewhat puzzling to me, as Russia has a long tradition of achievement & leadership in literature, music & the performing arts, as well as science & technology. Most importantly, they've also had a few decent hockey players. ;)

Finally, the US blaming Russia for interference in foreign elections seems pretty hypocritical, as the US (& other western countries) have undoubtedly been doing the same thing for decades in Russia & other countries.
 
1,789
Australia
Australia
Decepticon 47
Good questions.

Well, I wouldn't call myself much of a Putin supporter. My view on him is about 50/50. IMO, he's far from a perfect leader, but apparently not the worst compared to what we could have instead.

The "more than 20 years in power" part needs some notes. In the president elections of 2008, Putin wasn't allowed to take part because of two terms limit, so his ally Dmitri Medvedev ran instead, and won. Putin was assigned as the prime minister (Russia is a president-parliamentary republic, and the prime minister is accountable to the president), and was taking this office until 2012 (the next elections where he was allowed to run again). Shortly before that, a change was made to the RF Constitution to extend one presidential term from four years to six. So, after being re-elected in 2018, Putin is currently serving his second term in a row, and fourth overall, technically leading the country for 16 years, not 20.

But. There are more constitution amendments made just recently, in July 2020. Among other things (such as priority of the Russian Constitution over the international law, definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and more) there is also a proposal to re-zero the number of terms of the current president. Which means, Putin will be allowed to run for president two more times. However, he'll be 71 years old by the next elections (2024), so it's not certain whether he will run for 6 more years of presidency or not (not to mention 12).

Is it good or bad? Well, what you guys on the West call "dictatorship" is known here as "stability". Putin isn't the longest serving president in the former USSR, where Alexander Lukashenko and Emomali Rahmon (the presidents of Belarus and Tajikistan respectively) are both in power for about the same time as North Korea's last two leaders combined - since 1994. There are more examples outside the former Soviet Union, of leaders who governed their countries for over a decade with decent results. Take Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, who was a prime minister in 1959-1990 and developed his third world country into one of the leading economies of the region. Or Angela Merkel, who's leading Germany since 2005 (1 year shorter than Putin and 3 years longer than a certain other well-known German politician :D) but no one calls her a corrupt dictator. Or Japan's Shinzo Abe... well, not exactly - he resigned just recently after serving 9 years in total - about the same time as Kim Jong Un is in power now.

Alright, fine. I don't mind Putin being replaced. But for who? There's simply no decent opposing politician to entrust the president office to. Alexey Navalny, who is often dubbed as "the leader of the Russian opposition", IMO, is nothing more than a loudly whining populist with criminal record (that effectively bans him from entering the presidential race). I woundn't entrust him a pizzeria, let alone a country with nukes. Pavel Grudinin? No way I'm voting for communists. Vladimir Zhirinovsky? He's a funny man, and if we lived in a simulation, I'd probably click "SAVE" button and then make him our president, to grab popcorn and see what happens. But it's the goddamn real world...


Here. This graph will explain.
1200px-GDP_of_Russia_since_1989.svg.png

The country's collapse (and the failed economic reforms of the early '90s) also crippled the economy. The Boris Yeltsin's era, 1991-1999, is know in Russia as "The harsh nineties" (Лихие девяностые), and were known for sky high crime rates, corruption, unemployment, hyperinflation, poverty, terrorism, exhausting war in Chechnya and more. China was growing rapidly in the '90s while Russia was diving for the bottom, and this bottom was hit in 1998, which resulted in a default.

It's understandable why Putin is popular especially among older generations - after all the mess Russia went through in the '90s, this country became somewhat stable and livable under his rule. The current generations of Russians never lived better than under Putin's reign - neither under communists nor under "democrat" Yeltsin.

VVP is less popular among younger people who were born after the start of his rule or in the late '90s so they don't remember life before Putin. I was born shortly (two months) after Yeltsin shot the parliament with tanks (October 3-4, 1993, just 27 years ago) and was a little kid in the late '90s, but I remember what my parents had to deal with.

By the way, I find it hypocrite how the US is accusing Russia of meddling in 2016 elections although the US openly helped Yeltsin get re-elected in 1996.

Also, I tried comparing Canadian and Russian economies and didn't find where Canada's GDP is higher than Russia's. If only you mean GDP per capita, but it’s inversely proportional to population.

Here are the tables based on IMF data:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Canada#Data
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Russia#Data

If you compare Russia and Canada when talking about Putin’s achievements, don’t forget to take a look at what Russia was like in 2000 (just after Yeltsin’s retirement) and how Canada was doing meanwhile.
Russia’s GDP grew up from US$1,635.3 billion in 2000 (start of Putin’s presidency) to $4,227.4 bn in 2018 (the year of Putin’s last re-election) - by 2.59 times, or 159%. The GDP per capita increased from $11,170 to $28,797 (by 158%).

For the same period, Canada’s GDP growth was from US$910.9 billion to $1,838.3 bn (102%), and GDP per capita changed from $29,723 to $49,690 (67%).

Thus, it’s not Putin’s fault why an average Russian isn’t as wealthy as an average North American or West European today. I’d say Yeltsin and his government are to blame for this, and even earlier - the stagnation of the Soviet economy in the ‘80s, which was one of the things that caused the country to crumble.

I hope I answered your questions now.

I like hearing the russian perspective from a Russian user like yourself.

A lot of people cant get Russia right especially many so called experts who dont even speak Russian or even know Russian history, culture and the mentality that shapes up the country.

Not to mention Russia has lots of Non Russians. Its not a single one country where everybody is the same. Russia spans from St Petersburg to Siberia.
 
8,816
United States
Marin County
The machinations by which Putin has remained the de facto leader of Russia are pretty transparent. Do you really believe that Putin was subordinate to Medvedev while he was Prime Minister? Comparisons to Lukashenko & Rahmon just highlight the problem. "Stability" - OK - but what is the cost of "stability"? Mature political systems need the ability to transfer power periodically without a collapse in stability. Angela Merkel's grip on power in Germany is not comparable to that of Putin in Russia - she has relied on a coalition of allies to remain Chancellor & in any case has stated her intention to step down in 2021. She has been described as "one of the most widely admired and broadly influential statespeople of our time" - not a description likely to be applied internationally to Putin.

The IMF tables you link to list GDP based on PPP (purchasing power parity) which is a quite different thing from "real GDP". In terms of real GDP (expressed in US dollars) the Canadian economy produced a higher GDP (1,736,425.63) than Russia (1,699,876.58) in 2019.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD

It's not really fair to compare Russia to China in terms of economic growth, as China was really starting from a low point where there was a lot of room for strong growth. Similarly, it's not realistic to compare Canada - which is a mature, advanced economy with Russia. Nevertheless, growth in Russia has been extremely sluggish & heavily dependent on the unstable fluctuations in the price of oil. Russia has many structural problems, including suffering from a negative population growth ... as Canada would be, if not for immigration. This is likely to have long-term deleterious effects on the Russian economy. Putin's appeal to the nationalist instincts of many Russians is from an old, tried-&-tested political play-book & is not likely to bring increased stability or prosperity to Russia.

The whole thing is somewhat puzzling to me, as Russia has a long tradition of achievement & leadership in literature, music & the performing arts, as well as science & technology. Most importantly, they've also had a few decent hockey players. ;)

Finally, the US blaming Russia for interference in foreign elections seems pretty hypocritical, as the US (& other western countries) have undoubtedly been doing the same thing for decades in Russia & other countries.

I wonder how much of Russia's economic issues are directly the result of it's "unfavorable" (from an economic sense - it's a beautiful country) geography. The USA and China (and Canada really) are just lined with great ports and perfect land for farming and resource extraction. Russia has surprisingly few non-seasonal ports for it's size and vast expanses of almost uninhabited wilderness tundra. It's border with China is far from either of the countries population centers so the amount of land that Russia has is almost more of a liability than an asset. I think it's hugely undersold how much economic power the USA has is directly attributable to it's near-perfect global positioning, natural resources, and geography - it's like the physical geometry of the country was designed to be a superpower. Trade of tangible goods is not everything, but it's still a big deal for economies.

To elaborate on the port issue, it appears Russia has 5 major ports strewn around the country. 3 of those 5 have to contend with ice during the winter. The USA, by contrast has 99 ports of 2.5 million tons of cargo volume or more, and the vast majority (excluding only a handful in Alaska) of them are free of ice year round.
 
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7,072
Bahrain
Parts Unknown
PM me
PM me
I'm not a political guy nor do i know anything about that aspect of the world. I just don't want to have to deal with another anxiety attack and depression mood yet again.

That being said.
Interesting to see how a Sunni majority country is really close with a Shia one.
Politics have nothing to do with Religion, usually at least. Otherwise by that logic, regions in East Asia, South Asia & Europe would be unified by now soley due to their religious beliefs or lack thereof.
I don't want to bring up anything locally here but Qatar & Iran are getting politically closer, despite their population's religion and ethnicity being different, after the whole ongoing "GCC crisis".

Just something that bothers me whenever religion is mentioned in said topics. That and most people aren't that religious anyways.
The world is already overpopulated :ill:
Don't worry, Covid-19 & any ongoing wars would take care of the issue i may afraid.

Either way, i don't know much about Armenian & Azerbaijan conflict and the history behind it aside from learning about it upon visiting said nations (plus Georgia) few years back. I just hope things won't get worse from here out and wish if citizens won't have to deal with the horrors of said problem.

I can't help but remember relatives that my family lost during '90-91 Kuwaiti War and 2003 American invasion od Iraq.
 
4,415
Russian Federation
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Rage_Racer_VOLK
RageRacer48
Do you really believe that Putin was subordinate to Medvedev while he was Prime Minister?
I can't prove or disprove that, I don't work in Kremlin to know exactly who's giving orders to who.
There's no surprise that Medvedev and Putin's policies are similar - they are old friends, and they're from the same party (United Russia). However, there are some differences between them in the president chair. Medvedev was more, like... progressive and innovative, while Putin seems more conservative. Medvedev was the one who 'rebranded' the police in 2011 (it wasn't only a reform - the police was literally renamed), initiated a time zone reform and more. Of course he's a close ally of Putin who used to work with him long before Medvedev became the president, but I don't think of him as of Putin's puppet if you ask me.

IMO it is wrong to think of Putin as of some kind of 'big boss' who pulls all the strings in the Russian state system and everyone obeys him utterly like puppets. That's a stereotype emerging from Putin's cult of personality spread both by Russian state media and foreign media when highlighting Russia.

Angela Merkel's grip on power in Germany is not comparable to that of Putin in Russia - she has relied on a coalition of allies to remain Chancellor & in any case has stated her intention to step down in 2021. She has been described as "one of the most widely admired and broadly influential statespeople of our time" - not a description likely to be applied internationally to Putin.
So the international admiration is the real problem?
You started with criticism of Putin's time in power but then ended up explaining why it's okay for leader X to serve four terms but not okay for leader Y.

The IMF tables you link to list GDP based on PPP (purchasing power parity) which is a quite different thing from "real GDP". In terms of real GDP (expressed in US dollars) the Canadian economy produced a higher GDP (1,736,425.63) than Russia (1,699,876.58) in 2019.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD
Yes, I guess you're right in this part. Can't argue much about this - I'm a chemical engineer, not an economist. :)
How all these numbers in tables reflect the real life is another story, though...

Russia has many structural problems, including suffering from a negative population growth ... as Canada would be, if not for immigration. This is likely to have long-term deleterious effects on the Russian economy. Putin's appeal to the nationalist instincts of many Russians is from an old, tried-&-tested political play-book & is not likely to bring increased stability or prosperity to Russia.
It's true that Russia is in demographic crisis, mainly because of drop in birth rate in the '90s. Another echo of the Union's collapse. As I've mentioned before, I was born in 1993, when the country was rolling deep into 🤬, and my generation was fewer in numbers. In the school, I remember there were fewer kids of my age than the older ones. Now, when kids of the '90s are in the most reproductive age (23-27), the birth rate is dropping again, because there aren't so many of us.

The government is doing something about this - since 2007 the "maternity capital" (a money payment that can be spent on improvement of housing conditions, child's education, or more) is paid to parents who have 2 or more children. In January 2020 it was announced that it'll be paid for the first kid, too.

Another source to increase the population is immigration. There's a state program for ex-Soviet citizens from abroad who are fluent in Russian to resettle to Russia and become permanent residents. Since 2014 there's a massive flow of migrants from Ukraine. In 2019, Putin ordered to launch a simplified procedure for incoming Ukrainians to acquire Russian citizenship.

As a result of what's mentioned above, RF's population had been growing... until 2017. I suppose it might be because of what I said earlier (echo of the '90s births drop).

I'm not sure what do you mean by "nationalist instincts" from Putin's playbook...

Another thing to Russia and Armenia are not ethnically related.
Well, Armenians are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Russia (the number of Armenians living here is comparable to Armenia's population - estimated numbers vary from 1.7 to 2.5 million). Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russia Today, is Armenian-Russian, for example. Armenians are also known for their comedians over here. It's safe to say that Armenians have left a significant trail in Russia's culture.

The Russian internet users have divided in two main parts when discussing the Karabakh conflict: some say "Why aren't we helping Armenia? Putin, are you a schmuck?", the others insist "No way we're getting our nose over there". More Russians symphatize Armenia than Azerbaijan because:
A) They're being attacked, and they defend the land they live on.
B) Religion factor ("Christian brothers") - Armenians are Christians.

But even more Russians express no sympathy to either side.
Those who support Azerbaijan are mostly Azeri Russians (there are ~600 thousand of those) or other people somehow related to Turkish culture. Or even those who just dislike Armenia/Armenians for some reason.

How's it going to end?
Well, Azerbaijan has serious advantage over Armenia in almost all military aspects - but this advantage isn't overwhelming enough to do a quick Blitzkrieg. Aliyev was aiming for a "little victorious war" but not for a long, exhausting Verdun-like assault. His resources aren't unlimited, too.
Some experts suggest that Azerbaijan will seize some territory and stop, then both sides will count themselves a victory - Armenians will proudly say "We defended our Artsakh!", Azeris will claim "We made important steps to regain our Karabakh!" - until the next time.
 
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9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
Alot of the population decline is from emigration especially in the ex soviet states, if they can improve the reasons for staying in the country it would go along way to maintaining and increasing population growth.

Alot of that can be solved with better transport and such so people have easier access to work which gives then a better standard of life.
 
4,415
Russian Federation
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Rage_Racer_VOLK
RageRacer48
Good news about Karabakh - Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to cease fire after 10-hour talks in Moscow. How long is the ceasefire going to last is a question, though.

Fortunately, Russia is playing a role of peacemaker and mediator for talks - unlike Turkey who's heating Azerbaijan up encouraging it to attack again and again. Azerbaijani army was advancing and taking territory, but slowly and at high price - the easy Blitzkrieg has failed, and that's probably why Baku agreed for ceasefire.

Alot of the population decline is from emigration especially in the ex soviet states, if they can improve the reasons for staying in the country it would go along way to maintaining and increasing population growth.

Alot of that can be solved with better transport and such so people have easier access to work which gives then a better standard of life.
:sly: Do you seriously think the public transport is one of the main problems?
 
1,789
Australia
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Decepticon 47
Good news about Karabakh - Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to cease fire after 10-hour talks in Moscow. How long is the ceasefire going to last is a question, though.

Fortunately, Russia is playing a role of peacemaker and mediator for talks - unlike Turkey who's heating Azerbaijan up encouraging it to attack again and again. Azerbaijani army was advancing and taking territory, but slowly and at high price - the easy Blitzkrieg has failed, and that's probably why Baku agreed for ceasefire.


:sly: Do you seriously think the public transport is one of the main problems?

Russian brokered ceasefires are as worthless as toilet paper. By the way the Azerbaijanis contemplated on taking Karabag for decades.

Turkey just gave them the support. I do hope they achieve it. Ethhnically and racially the Azerbaijanis are our brothers we can never leave them to dead with the Russian-Armenian attacks.

Armenians just attacked Ganja. Too bad Turkey is not intervening the only thing the armenians deserve is a nice big slap.
 
5,756
Simcoeace
Russian brokered ceasefires are as worthless as toilet paper. By the way the Azerbaijanis contemplated on taking Karabag for decades.

Turkey just gave them the support. I do hope they achieve it. Ethhnically and racially the Azerbaijanis are our brothers we can never leave them to dead with the Russian-Armenian attacks.

Armenians just attacked Ganja. Too bad Turkey is not intervening the only thing the armenians deserve is a nice big slap.


What? Who's "we"? Aussies? :confused:
 
4,415
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Rage_Racer_VOLK
RageRacer48
Russian brokered ceasefires are as worthless as toilet paper.
Toiler paper isn't worthless during this pandemic, you know ;)
It was predictable that the truce wouldn't last more than few hours (or even minutes) - that's Caucasus. With this amount of mutual hatred between the two nations, it was no surprise.

I know the Armenians fired ballistic missiles at Ganja and there's no excuse for that, but when the Azeris target civilian areas of Stepanakert with 300mm rockets they're not ANY better.

It's easy to say who "deserves a big slap" when you're safe on your couch in Australia, but suddenly not so easy when you're in a burning tank or in a trench under artillery shelling.

Russian-Armenian attacks
Russian, huh? And why'd you think Russia has anything to do with this?

Pashinyan is desperately seeking help from everyone he can, and this "everyone he can" is Russia. But Putin clearly stated that Karabakh is NOT Armenia, and Russia is not obliged to defend it. And why should we? Armenia doesn't recognize Crimea as ours, and there's no reason for Russia to recognize the NKR separate from Azerbaijan - even Armenia itself doesn't. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan said "bye-bye" to Russia in 1991, so it's time for them solve their problems by themselves. However, I also don't think Azerbaijan is right when it tries to take Karabakh by force.

Now, a Russian Mi-24 helicopter flying over Armenian territory is shot down by Azerbaijan. This is getting real ugly already.
https://www.rt.com/russia/506208-russian-helicopter-shot-armenia/

He must be Turkish based on how the post is worded.
From what I understand, he's a Turk living in Australia.
 
4,415
Russian Federation
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Rage_Racer_VOLK
RageRacer48
Looks like the war in Karabakh is over... for now. Armenia has officially lost.

Ten days ago, Russia deployed peacekeeping troops to the remaining Armenian-held territory of Artsakh as the peace agreement is signed by Putin, Pashinyan and Aliyev.
_115342318_nk_peace_deal_detailed_map_640-nc-nc.png


The Armenians will give up the regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh (they were de jure Azerbaijani territories that were held by the Armenian separatists since the first Karabakh war in the early '90s) except the narrow Lachin corrdor that will connect Karabakh with Armenia and be guarded by the Russian peacekeepers.

The number of deployed Russian troops is around ~2000 of personnel, they'll be present in the region for 5 years, or even more if both Yerevan and Baku agree.

Azerbaijan will also have a road built on Armenian territory that will directly connect the mainland republic to Nakhchivan region (an Azerbaijani exclave bordering with Turkey isolated by Armenia). The road will also be guarded by the Russian troops. This is how Turkey gets almost direct access to the Caspian Sea. A big win to Erdogan.
tWOp9FcJ0_o.jpg
 
1,789
Australia
Australia
Decepticon 47
Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan won.

Israel won when it comes to promoting their drones.

Biggest loser is Armenia. It is said that Iran has become a loser in this cofict even if they done nothing.
 
1,789
Australia
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Decepticon 47
What? Who's "we"? Aussies? :confused:

Im born in Australia to Turkish parents so its natural for me to defend Turkey. Due to this I get called a Erdogan fanboy. Im not one of those ultra nationalists who go uber crazy.

I know my country of origin has its good and bad. Just like with Australia. But comparing both is like comparing apples and oranges. Both are vastly different peoples and cultures.
 
1,789
Australia
Australia
Decepticon 47
Toiler paper isn't worthless during this pandemic, you know ;)
It was predictable that the truce wouldn't last more than few hours (or even minutes) - that's Caucasus. With this amount of mutual hatred between the two nations, it was no surprise.

I know the Armenians fired ballistic missiles at Ganja and there's no excuse for that, but when the Azeris target civilian areas of Stepanakert with 300mm rockets they're not ANY better.

It's easy to say who "deserves a big slap" when you're safe on your couch in Australia, but suddenly not so easy when you're in a burning tank or in a trench under artillery shelling.


Russian, huh? And why'd you think Russia has anything to do with this?

Pashinyan is desperately seeking help from everyone he can, and this "everyone he can" is Russia. But Putin clearly stated that Karabakh is NOT Armenia, and Russia is not obliged to defend it. And why should we? Armenia doesn't recognize Crimea as ours, and there's no reason for Russia to recognize the NKR separate from Azerbaijan - even Armenia itself doesn't. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan said "bye-bye" to Russia in 1991, so it's time for them solve their problems by themselves. However, I also don't think Azerbaijan is right when it tries to take Karabakh by force.

Now, a Russian Mi-24 helicopter flying over Armenian territory is shot down by Azerbaijan. This is getting real ugly already.
https://www.rt.com/russia/506208-russian-helicopter-shot-armenia/


From what I understand, he's a Turk living in Australia.

I can critise Russia but to be honest Russians are much more better than Armenians or Greeks.

I have respect for Russians more than the Armenians or Greeks who constantly complain about genocide at every turn then start lying about Turkey as much as they can because they refuse to grow up and move on.

As much as we beef with Russia. Russians deserve more respect even if Turkey and Russia squabble they have mutual respect for each other. Greeks and Armenians constantly lied and made this image about how Turks are genocidal, murderous, barbarians.

The diaspora armenians and greeks have made it even worse and toxic. They are not just critising Erdogan they throw mud at every Turk. They even want us sanctioned.

Whatever my ancestors did was in the past I have nothing to do with it.

Why cant the armenians move on?? I know genocide is a tragedy but why are they picking fights with their neighbours just to complete their Greater Armenia dream??

Armenians have long lost the ability for the genocide to get recognised once they started demanding huge chunks of land from the Turks on top of it reparations that would have busted the Turkish economy as if its doing any better right now.
 
797
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Kannon33r

Also, today Putin indirectly confirm that used for investigation info about FSB agents is somewhat legit. Madness.
 
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797
Russian Federation
Russian Federation
Kannon33r
Happy New Year, Comrades! :cheers:
2020 was a tough one, but we did it.

Some New Year's Eve cult classic for you(eng sub included):
 
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UKMikey

This is where the casuals hang out, right?
Premium
9,481
United Kingdom
West Drayton
UKMikeyA
UKMikeyA
Those cops should watch out for the yellow snow.