Having successfully circumvented and stared down the American imperialists in both Crimea and Syria, The Saker suspects Vladimir Putin is about to purge Russia’s 5th column:
One of the possible signs of a purge to come is the fact that the Russian media, both the blogosphere and the big corporate media, is now very critical of the economic policies of the government of Prime Minister Medvedev. Most Russian economists agree that the real reason for the current economic crisis in Russia is not the falling price of oil or, even less so, the western sanctions, but the misguided decisions of the Russian Central Bank (such as floating the Ruble or keeping the interest rates high) and the lack of governmental action to support a real reform and development of the Russian economy. What is especially interesting is that vocal opponents of the current 5th column now get plenty of air time in the Russian media, including state owned VGTRK. Leading opponents of the current economic policies, such as Sergei Glazev, Mikhail Deliagin or Mikhail Khazin are now interviewed at length and given all the time needed to absolutely blast the economic policies of the Medvedev government. And yet, Putin is still taking no visible action. In fact, in his latest yearly address he as even praised the work of the Russian Central Bank. So what is going on here?
First, and to those exposed to the western propaganda, this might be difficult to imagine, but Putin is constrained simply by the rule of law. He cannot just send some special forces and have all these folks arrested on some kind of charge of corruption, malfeasance or sabotage. Many in Russia very much regret that, but this is fact of life.
In theory, Putin could simply fire the entire (or part) of the government and appoint a different Governor to the Central Bank. But the problem with that is that it would trigger an extremely violent reaction from the West. Mikhail Deliagin recently declared that if Putin did this, the West’s reaction would be even more violent than after the Crimean reunification with Russia. Is he right? Maybe. But I personally believe that Putin is not only concerned about the reaction of the West, but also from the Russian elites, particularly those well off, who generally already intensely dislike Putin and who would see such a purge as an attack on their personal and vital interests. The combination of US subversion and local big money definitely has the ability to create some kind of crisis in Russia. This is, I think, by far the biggest threat Putin his facing. But here also we can observe a paradoxical dynamic:
One one hand, Russia and the West have been in an open confrontation ever since Russian prevented the USA from attacking Syria. The Ukrainian crisis only made things worse. Add to this the dropped prices on oil and the western sanctions and you could say that Putin now, more then ever, needs to avoid anything which could make the crisis even worse.
But on the other hand, this argument can be flipped around by saying that considering how bad the tensions already are and considering that the West has already done all it can to harm Russia, is this not the perfect time to finally clean house and get right of the 5th column? Really – how much worse can things really get?
Only Putin knows the answer to this simply because only he has all the facts. All we can do is observe that the popular discontent with the “economic block” of the government and with the Central Bank is most definitely growing and growing fast, and that the Kremlin is doing nothing to inhibit or suppress such feelings. We can also notice that while most Russians are angry, disgusted and frustrated with the economic policies of the Medvedev government, Putin’s personal popularity is still sky high in spite of the fact that the Russian economy most definitely took a hit, even if it was much smaller than what the AngloZionist Empire had hoped for.
My strictly personal explanation for what is happening is this: Putin is deliberately letting things get worse because he knows that the popular anger will not be directed at him, but only at his enemies.
Vladimir Putin is a patient man, but he is also capable of acting very quickly when he senses an opportunity. And the global economic crisis combined with the European migrant crisis is going to permit him to act without fear of a coherent and effective response, particularly in light of the way in which the Trump insurgency has them far more concerned about their control over the seat of their power than about the fate of their vassals in Russia.
For five decades, the imperialist trump card has been the economy. Play along and get rich, refuse to play along and get replaced by someone else who will get rich. But the credit boom ended in 2008 and the game of musical chairs began. The imperialists are now half-occupied with making sure they have a seat; there is no room at the table for new players.
The game has changed. How the new game will take shape is, as yet, unknown, but I am certain the attempt to keep it going by banning cash and exerting total financial control will not only fail, it may take down those authorities who turn to it.
Forget “interesting”. These are frightening, but absolutely fascinating times. These are the interesting parts of history.