Summary: Our outrage about Russia’s meddling in Eastern Ukraine is the smoke. Sanctions on Russia are our tool. Weakening Russia is our goal. Exactly as with Iran (as we see in the die-hard opposition to the arms control treaty). Here Strafor examines the results of the sanctions on Russia.
Russia Readies Itself for Unrest
Stratfor, 7 August 2015
- The Kremlin will allow the economies of many of the country’s Soviet-era mono-cities to deteriorate.
- Protests against the Kremlin will increase as more Russians fall under the poverty line and regional and municipal debt grows.
- The Kremlin will crack down on protest movements and opposition parties to block the formation of any serious challenge to its hold on power.
Russia’s economy is in steep decline, and the financial strain on the Kremlin is beginning to spread to the country’s regions, cities and people. Many of Russia’s regions are already on the verge of default. As the pressure continues to build at the regional level, the country’s municipal governments and citizens will find themselves increasingly strapped for cash.
With little hope of economic recovery in the near future, the Kremlin is taking steps to quash any threat of regional defiance or mass protests against its leadership. As its attention shifts inward over the next few years, the Kremlin’s capacity to assert itself abroad will diminish.