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

(Roman Genn)



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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.


Contents
July 30, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, No. 14

Articles
Features
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.
Sections
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .