Russia’s Choice
Will it establish democracy at last or let Vladimir Putin rule for life?

(Roman Genn)


To reverse this situation, Russia needs normal conditions for investment. Those are not possible without the rule of law. Trying to assure his reelection, Putin’s government authorized $161 billion in additional spending through 2018, including increased pensions and a freeze on gas prices. One of the purposes of this move is to help preserve the domestic peace. But the government now needs an oil price of $150 a barrel over the next few years to meet its obligations. This may be unattainable. A crash in the oil price would plunge Russia into crisis immediately.

A final factor in Russia’s growing internal crisis is an increase in ethnic tensions. Russia faces a terrorist threat from the North Caucasus, and in many cases Russians have responded to it with racism and xenophobia.

July 30, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, No. 14

Books, Arts & Manners
  • Vincent J. Cannato reviews Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, by Jay Cost.
  • Michael Rubin reviews The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran, by David Crist.
  • Ryan T. Anderson reviews Debating Same-Sex Marriage, by John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher.
  • Andrew Stuttaford reviews The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins.
  • Diane Scharper reviews Pity the Beautiful: Poems, by Dana Gioia.
  • Ross Douthat reviews Ted.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .