NEWSWATCH: “Russian government gets a new programme and people” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“… Russia’s petro-driven economic model was already clearly broken in 2013 when GDP growth dropped to zero at a time when oil prices were still over $100 per barrel. … the geopolitical showdown over first the fate of Ukraine and then the tussle in Syria meant that Putin postponed more prosperity as he redirected every spare penny into modernising Russia’s army. That process is not finished, but … military spending has already been cut by 20% …. Falling incomes and deteriorating living standards have lead to more vocal protests …. Putin badly needs to come up with some more ‘feel good’ factor if he is to secure his own legacy – and avoid being jailed by his successor if things go badly. …”

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