Opposition activists and supporters take part an anti-Putin protest the second Russia's city of Saint Petersburg, on September 15, 2012. The poster depicts Russian president Vladimir Putin and reads: "What have you elected is the rising prices and poverty!"

Fake news and the future of the Federation

Making Russia Great Again?

April 2019, Number 09.02

Russian President Vladimir Putin should be very worried. Sure, he was re-elected with 77 percent of the vote; with 67 percent of the electorate turning out to cast a ballot (slightly shy of the 70 percent he’d hoped for). His rule is unchallenged, with no one political figure or power center strong enough to challenge the influence he’s consolidated while governing Russia for 17 years. His modest public servant’s salary, ownership of two garages and a few vintage Volgas have miraculously increased his net worth to over $200 billion, according to The Washington Post. Even if he falls on hard times, a loyal billionaire friend would likely help. He could be president for life, if he wants. Life would seem to be pretty good.

And yet, for the average Russian, life isn’t so good. The Moscow Times reports that the average national salary is $6,700 — on par with that of neighboring Kazakhstan. Overall life expectancy is about 70 years, 110th in the world, with an alarming average male life expectancy of 65 years...

Excerpt from Drew Ninnis, Making Russia Great Again? per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  9, No. 2, 2019: 24-31.

Drew Ninnis, Ph.D., is deputy director of Futures and Assessments, Force Design Division, in the Australian Department of Defence. He has worked as an intelligence analyst and in the area of defense capability development, and he has taught at the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Australian National University and attended the Marshall Center’s Program on Applied Security Studies in 2013. His research interests are in the possible futures of major powers such as China, Russia, India and the United States.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.