If anyone in the western world firmly believes that the bloody revolt in the Ukraine has nothing to do with them, then, think again. Putin’s support of a series of strongmen from Syria’s Bashar-al-Assad to ousted Ukrainian President Yanukovyich ensures Putin’s power base is exposed as the one he created himself.
Putin turned away from the sway of markets in economics and built Russian state capitalism by placing his former Komitet Gosudartsvennoi Komitet (KGB) colleagues in charge of oil and infrastructure companies, turning private sector oligarchs into state puppets and encouraging others by imprisoning the less co-operative ones.
Russia obligingly and openly, holds elections with Puitn screening the candidates. Serious challengers to Putin’s power base are eliminated. Putin rallied the forces of cultural conservatism through the cult of Putinism and challenged a United States hampered by costly interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, however, domestic stability was his prime and most successful campaign.
Yanukovyich’s sudden retreat in Ukraine over the mass killing of demonstrators proves the pro-Russian forces cannot rule like Roman Consuls. Russians are revolted by Putin and his power hungry allies constantly disregarding basic human rights and lack of free speech.
Putin’s Russian state economy depends on oil, gas and minerals subject to the vagaries of world market prices. The oligarchs duly extract rents from the oil and gas sector. The inevitable reduction of wealth extraction and rent seeking on mineral and oil and gas extraction is threatened by US fracking concerns.
In time Putin will be unable to pay his dependents and buy off his critics. Russia’s sphere of influence in Poland and Ukraine is reducing.
Yulia Tymoshenko, just released from a Kharkiv prison hospital led the 2005 Orange Revolution and was imprisoned by Yanukovyich on doubtful charges. What will she do with Ukraine’s power vacuum? Ukraine, torn by East West divisions must have a government of national unity by next week, March 4, 2014.