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I am a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, at Stanford, and the Cullen Professor of Economics at the University of Houston. I am also a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research Berlin. My specialties are Russia and Comparative Economics, and I am adding China to my portfolio. I have written more than 20 books on economics, Russia and comparative economics. I blog at paulgregorysblog.blogspot.com.

Contact Paul Roderick Gregory

The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

World Affairs 19,746 views

A Russian Crisis With No End In Sight, Thanks To Low Oil Prices And Sanctions

Former Russian prime minister Evgeny Primakov warned that, if Vladimir Putin continues his Ukraine policies, Russia will become a pariah third-world petro state. The fundamentals of the Russian economy, as it enters 2015, suggest that Russia is fulfilling Primakov’s prophesy. Russia’s fate depends on economic factors beyond its control (energy prices and gas markets) and on Putin’s continued international adventurism, which he is loath to abandon for fear of regime change. Putin can no longer keep his promise to the Russian people of prosperity and stability. No wonder his propagandists are fighting full time to convince the West to drop its sanctions. Unlike the 2008/9 financial crisis, Russia faces a long and deep recession because the underlying causes are unlikely to go away in the near term. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The two crises compared

The Russian economy has been struck by lightning twice during the short span of seven years. In 2008/9, a massive storm of falling oil prices and credit-market collapse struck Russia along with the rest of the world. The storm inflicted more serious damage on Russia than elsewhere (an 8 percent drop in GDP), but it passed over relatively quickly as oil prices recovered and world credit markets unfroze. In the 2010-11 period, economic growth averaged 5 percent, before falling to anemic rates in the buildup to Ukraine. Lightning struck Russia again in mid-2014 with the worldwide collapse of energy prices and Ukraine sanctions that bumped Russia from credit markets.

The initial voltages of the 2008/9 and 2014 lightning strikes were about the same, but the damage will be longer and deeper the second time around. Low energy prices will not disappear soon, and sanctions will remain in place as long as Russia makes no serious moves toward peace in Ukraine.

The accompanying table shows the same negative factors at play during the 2008/9 financial crisis (Column A) and the current “precrisis” period (Column C), with  similar collapses of oil prices (Row 2),  foreign borrowing (Row 3), and diminishing central bank reserves (Row 4). Column B shows the quick comeback from the 2008/9 crisis, with rising oil prices, revived foreign borrowing, and  a restocking of central bank foreign exchange reserves.

2008-2009-financial-crisis (2)

From whence is Russia’s second comeback to emerge this time around? Despite divergent opinions on the long run, oil prices are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future. As long as financial sanctions remain in place, Russia has few sources of external borrowing for investing in and refinancing its highly leveraged companies. Russia had little control over the first lightning strike. The world recession drove down energy prices, and Russia lost access to world credit markets as credit froze to emerging markets. If Russia had less dependence on energy and had kept its hands, troops, and equipment out of Crimea and east Ukraine, it could have mitigated the second strike. But it did not.

Estimating the depth and duration of Russia’s ongoing crisis

The past is an imperfect guide to the future, but it is rare to have two similar economic crises caused by roughly the same factors and not far apart in time. In the case of Russia, we can use the 2007 to the first quarter of 2015’s statistical relationship among GDP growth, energy prices, foreign borrowing, and foreign exchange reserves to project GDP growth through 2016 using the constellation of oil prices, credit market access, and availability of international reserves we expect to prevail in 2015 and 2016.

The accompanying chart plots the actual GDP, oil prices, foreign borrowing, and central bank reserves from the first quarter of 2007 through the first quarter of 2015. The baseline figures (such as $60 a barrel of oil and negative borrowing) are plotted from the second quarter of 2015 through the last quarter of 2016. GDP growth is projected from the statistical relationship between GDP growth and the explanatory variables (see notes to the accompanying table).


We see that the 2008/9 financial crisis consisted of  collapsing oil prices and diminished foreign borrowing pulling GDP growth into negative territory as Russian financial authorities drew down reserves to stabilize the economy. Recovering oil prices and foreign borrowing then restored positive economic growth, with a slight lag behind the oil price and borrowing recovery. Russia’s 2008/9 financial crisis consisted of four quarters of negative growth, after which the economy returned to positive, albeit weak, growth through the first quarter of 2015.

Notably, Russian GDP growth averaged a paltry 2.4 percent from 2011 to 2014 despite high oil prices and renewed access to credit markets. Among the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), Russia experienced the deepest recession and the slowest recovery. These disappointing figures (with no relief in sight) support the hypothesis that Putin turned to foreign adventurism to distract attention from growing economic malaise. 

Given the baseline assumptions for 2015 and 2016, the model projects a sharp drop in growth in early 2015, followed by slightly less negative growth through 2016. The reasons for the GDP collapse are clear: low oil prices, no foreign borrowing, and diminishing reserves. Unlike 2008/9, there are no signs of sources of recovery on the horizon. Russia must learn to live with negative growth for the near future.

These projections send an ominous message to the Kremlin: Russia faces an 8.2 percent drop in output in 2015 and 6.4 percent in 2016. Worse still, negative growth is poised to continue beyond 2016 unless oil prices recover and the sanctions are lifted.

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  • Paul:
    “How long can the Russian people be convinced that they should sacrifice their economic well-being for the sake of … ”
    for the sake of …Kremlin.
    They’ve been being convinced in need to sacrifice their economic well-being for the sake of being whipped and robbed blind by the Kremlin for centuries.

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago


    I find it interesting that the Kremlin can only come up with the Crimean annexation to motivate the Russian people. It appears as if no one wants to hear about Putin’s “Russian world” and Novorossiya.

  • Tony Melendez Tony Melendez 1 month ago


    The “economic well being” you speak of comes at the cost of Russia surrendering its sovereignty and becoming a US vassal. Most Russians know better than to allow that to happen to their country.

    Incidentally, Russia is surviving the sanctions. China is backing Russia (because of American arrogance). Meanwhile, the Ukrainian economy is in ruins. The Ukrainian military been defeated, and stands little chance against the Russian army in the future, even with American help. If anything, the question is how long will Ukraine survive.

    You don’t understand the international situation, or Russia’s domestic situation. People like Paul Gregory write these articles in order to exploit people like you. His articles are nothing more than pep rallies to drum up support for the neocon dream of destroying Russia.

  • Ukraine will survive! If they survived 500 years of russian occupation and crimes, they ll survive this too. Russia too will survive, but the cost ll be huge, Zimbabwe also survives. Ukraine will reform with western support and become the new Poland. In a decade time Russians will be jealous to Ukraine and Putin will be 1 metre below the surface (with RUSSIAN help). Yspechov!

  • Lev Havryliv Lev Havryliv 1 month ago

    Putin will soon find out that you cannot fool all the people all the time.

    How long will Russians put up with falling living standards before they start to question the architect of their woes?

    The recent Nemtsov report on Putin’s Ukraine war and its human and material costs will hopefully start Russians questioning the official propaganda line.

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago


    If Nemtsov’s murder was meant to silence him, it has certainly focused attention on his posthumous report.

  • Dan Dan 1 month ago

    Putin will fool people as long as he wants. If you pay attention to some recent progovernment meetings, you will see a very interesting picture. For instance, people carried posters saying “Obama, return our pensions!” How long these people can be fooled? Forever.

  • During his administration, the earnings of the average Russian have tripled. The increase in the standard of living has been dramatic and, despite the propaganda from the west, Russians still think they are living well. The stores are fully stocked, the unemployment rate is far less than in the US, prices are acceptable and Russians are far less fearful of losing their jobs than Americans are.
    Putin’s 85% approval rating is not suffering and probably will not.

  • mfat mfat 1 month ago

    There is mounting economic crisis in Russia ,but asking “how long until”, “for how long can he” is a bit of a fools errand. Had you lived through the waning days of the soviet block, you would know the answer. For a rather long time. And even longer time in Russia proper where people are used to hardship. The first reaction of an ordinary person is to adapt. The breaking point is somewhere around “I can no longer eat”, but Russia is probably a fair distance from that point. The danger of this kind of thinking is believing that “sanctions are working”. In fact sanctions may hasten the demise to some degree, but they are not accomplishing what should be the primary objective, defending peace and rule based international order. Sanctions are not enough. The most important element is missing, which is political assertion of fault, clear assertion that political relations cannot return to normal until Russia admits fault and agrees to pay reparations, clearly articulating some vision for the future of Crimea. Western politicians are looking for an excuse to stop sanctions and return relations to “normal”. They are not formulating a plan and conditions for this return which would assert the primacy of rule based order. Meanwhile the political conditions in Ukraine are deteriorating again, which will complicate political recovery even more. Who knows what will happen there.
    Sanctions were better than nothing, but sanctions are a dead end response.

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago


    Sadly I agree with your assessment. In order for Russia to abmit fault and pay reparations, there would have to be a Russia without Putin or a Putin-like figure.

  • Tony Melendez Tony Melendez 1 month ago


    This conflict began for two reasons. One, the US is trying to turn Ukraine into a strategic asset to permanently subvert Russia’ security. Two, west Ukrainian nationalists are threatening the aspirations and values of east Ukrainians (i.e., ethnic Russians and Russophone Ukrainians).

    Russia took Crimea back out of necessity. In light of Euromaidan, Russia could not reasonably allow NATO to use Crimea as base from which to threaten Russia in the future. Also, the vast majority of Crimea’s population is Russian, people who never wanted to be part of Ukraine in the future.

    In truth, maybe Ukraine should pay sanctions to Russia for greedily taking Crimea in 1991. Perhaps the West — which is already losing the conflict — should make reparations for damage cause to Russia by the sanctions.

    Given all the trouble that’s unfolded since Euromaidan, it’s in the world’s best interests that the Ukrainian state be destroyed. Ditto for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Mark my words: that is going to happen.

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago


    Rather odd idea that Ukraine should pay Russia for taking Crimea in 1991!

  • With essentially no population growth, it’s possible that Russia could continue with essentially 0% GDP growth and have citizens/consumers not feel their lives are getting worse. Plus, Russian people are hardy and have low expectations. With the exception of the foreign exchange reserves issue and meeting the Kremlin’s desire to grow defense spending to maintain it’s “global power” status, I don’t $60-80 oil will force any change in Russia. Definitely not domestically. Really, with a depreciated Ruble and the right policies, it could spur domestic manufacturing and import substitution.

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago

    Kevin: Putin has promised the Russian people growth, prosperity and economic stability. I think they understand this promise. He has to divert their attention from this hard fact — thus the Ukraine tragedy.

  • Approach New Approach New 1 month ago

    Putin is and will remain an old thinker from the KGB. For him I sense a tear forming. Wait for it… OK. No tear.

  • Unfortunately for the author’s premise, the Russian crisis does not look much like a crisis and there is an end in sight. Despite a drop of 40% in the price of their major product, the Russian government still has a balanced budget at a $50 oil price. As the price of oil has been significantly over that, they are running a surplus and began rebuilding their currency reserves last month.
    The ruble has recovered much of its loss in value and the Russian government is now more concerned that the ruble will appreciate too much. The lower ruble has significantly improved imports and made it easier to balance the Russian budget.
    Inflation has been a problem, but there is now virtually no chance that the sanctions will be extended beyond July. Support for both the American position and the sanctions has eroded so significantly in Europe that the more hawkish governments are considering opening propaganda bureaus to support their positions.
    Inflation has been almost 17% this year, but pensions and government wages have gone up 11% and the end of the sanctions will probably cause some deflation when European goods are allowed back into Russia.
    To put it into perspective, when the US went though its recent crisis, the government borrowed $8 trillion, paid off the banks that caused the problems, lost millions of productive people who left the work force permanently or settled for part time work and became a country where part time work was the most common new job. That is a crisis and we have yet to recover from it after eight years.
    Russia’s problems are more a bump in the road than a crisis, and it is temporary.

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago


    A typical “sanctions don’t matter, Russia doing fine argument. I am no fan of U.S. economic policy. A note to the West, Rodgers is arguing that everything will be fine because sanctions will be gone in July. Yes, it is important that the sanctions be maintained. Their biggest cost is that they kick Russia out of credit markets. This will be a moment of truth for the West, if it removes the sanctions without real progress on Crimea or on Russia’s war on Ukraine which Merkel recently called “criminal and in violation of international law.” Removal of sanctions means the West has let Russia off with no consequences.

  • Tony Melendez Tony Melendez 1 month ago

    “Removal of sanctions means the West has let Russia off with no consequences.”

    Paul, face it….the West is losing the conflict. Under Putin’s leadership,
    Russia is successfully standing down the West. Given that Ukraine is vulnerable, the West’s position will only get worse with time. Inevitably, Russia will win.

    The real question is what price will the West pay for its arrogant decision to disregard Russia’s rights and existential concerns. As you yourself have admitted, that price may be the disbandment of NATO and the loosening of the EU.

    Either way, Ukraine will pay the ultimately price. Ukraine will lose its independence.

  • “Inevitably, Russia will win…Ukraine will pay the ultimately price”

    Sure… and steamboat was invented in Kremlin. If you so truly believe in your blubbering why don’t you go watch Dmitry Kiselyov and have some stolychnaya?

    You are here because you don’t believe a word you said here.

  • It is funny how this guy basically uses “You can’t buy bananas in Moscow ” as an argument for the article and its evaluation . Be realistic and ask the correct questions , how much was actually imported from EU or US in to Russia and how much of it was effected by sanctions ? EU and US have not even touched any of the technological cooperation like Planes , cars , movies , software and are still buying every thing they bought from Russia in the first place … Sure the prices for Oil have dived but US shale is being hurt much more that Saudis or Russia whose break even price for producing is $10-25 while US average is $43 , go figure … You also seem to be very ignorant about the contracts and what Russia actually exports to EU , most of it is Actually NG which has contracts with fixed pricing for periods of 10-25 years with fixed price inflation in them so the price did not change for around 80% of Russian exports .You are just so brainwashed and full of hatred that it is unbearable for the people of my generation to see . Both you and the commies are so brain dead that it is no wonder you had a confrontation for half a century about absolutely nothing …. Besides I was born in Crimean and under Ukraine it was an fn hellhole where you could be beaten by a cop for looking at them the wrong way , they were all sent in from the Western Regions from 2004 onwards as locals just refused to serve the government . But you will never understand any of this as all you want is to see the whole world burn while US miraculously services , bad news for you is it does not work that way and you are too old to change your perception of the world . What you will never understand is Putin is just a man and he will go eventually but we in our majority share his stance . We don’t want to conquer any thing , just leave us alone , if Ukraine could at least hold a single legal government without a new Maidan overthrowing it none of it would happen , but it is like Austro-Hungarian Empire , just so different in different regions that it can not be stable . Now you can answer this with some amusing “ I am right because I am right ” type comment that you have used for all of the other people ….

  • :-)))))))))))))
    “Besides I was born in Crimean …”
    And so was I. That’s why I’d like to suggest as Crimean to Crimean: you may want to read your comments before posting.
    “Saudis or Russia whose break even price for producing is $10-25 while US average is $43 , go figure …”
    Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov already did: “The development (of Russia’s shale oil resources) is not profitable at current oil prices” (January 2015).
    There is no “Saudis or Russia” – oil production in S. Arabia is by far more cost effective than in Russia. Breakeven price for Russia is $100.
    Officially Saudi production costs (shale) average $10-$20 a barrel.
    But Saudi Aramco is an arm of the Saudi government; the oil that it drills funds roughly 80% of the palace budget, which by extension covers Saudi education subsidies, low-priced energy, housing allowances and other benefits, not to mention lavish support for the lives and schemes of every royal family member. When you add all that up, Saudi Arabia’s production cost is at least $86 a barrel of oil, or double US’s Continental’s at the low end.
    While Russia’s extractable oil reserves are depleting in 15 years or so, the costs of new development projects are among the highest.

  • The comparison was of Saudis or Russia having $10-25 on conventional which is 99% of their production while US already produces 70% from shale which is banned in both of the previous countries by law . No one was talking of budget break even prices , I was quoting production prices which I specified in the post . Stop being ignorant and changing the topic , Oil was 20% of my post tops .Funny how you ignored the social part of my post completely and focused on OIL and nothing else …

  • vantezz vantezz 1 month ago

    How long can the Russian people be convinced that they should sacrifice their economic well-being for the sake of a few million people in Crimea?”

    What nonsense!
    Crimea live our people! Russian people and the Russian people Russia will sacrifice everything for the sake of his people!

    What about the Russian regular army in the south east of Ukraine!

    I did not know that such a newspaper like Forbes to write like that!
    where evidence of this?

  • vantezz vantezz 1 month ago

    Author somehow believes that to go into debt to the West – is good.

  • vantezz vantezz 1 month ago

    In general, all written under quite a tricky and confusing. Juggling phrases, substitution of concepts, the distortion of the meaning of what was said by someone … But the whole set of skilful propagandist then traced. Very few blatant lies. In most of the one-sided presentation of facts, they are subject to the matrix hackneyed cliches, and full consideration of other cut-off points of view.
    To argue with the author does not make sense. It is clear that knowing what to cut and how he himself knows where and why it was silent.

  • serzzzzfff . serzzzzfff . 1 month ago

    And that someone has proved that “the Boeing” have proof? And you know what military units of Russia has invaded Ukraine? Why not show clear evidence? The fact that the USA, Lithuania and others are ACTIVELY involved in this not declared war known. What I want to “earn USA clear. It’s time to stop the shameless lies of the Western media.

  • > How long can the Russian people be convinced that they should sacrifice their economic well-being for the sake of a few million people in Crimea?

    Forever. Only you – Americans can compare people and money. We in Russia think differently. And you will never understand us because your life is money. You would sell your soul for them.

  • Nemtsov wrote their reports more than 10 years (at least, not less provocative than the last one – are you read them?).

    His murder was planned by the your intelligence agencies as a yet another attempt to make a “maidan” in Russia.

  • Cool Pool Cool Pool 1 month ago

    Paul, hello.
    I would like to see a reference to this statement Primakov, and not as a link to your previous article.
    If the statement does not find – you decide, but it is very similar to the method of propaganda: “40/60″, coined by your German colleagues.
    Do not you think ?!
    Primakov’s speech read in the original.

  • Z'ing Sui Z'ing Sui 1 month ago

    I liked the analysis comparing the current Russian crisis to the previous one, a lot of people commenting on Russia’s woes only slightly brush the subject of how strongly it was hit only a few years back. To me, it adds more to the picture of something Russia’s ever unbalanced economy and ever resilient population has learned to struggle through if not deal with. And now they have Putin’s propaganda telling them it’s all the result of the unfair sanctions.

    While there really seems to be no chance of US and its “Sanctions allies” lifting the restrictions any time soon, nobody can ever predict the way oil prices are going to behave a week from now, much less long enough to make sure this crisis is going to last very long. And while sanctions provided a strong hit on Russian economy making Russian enterprises struggle to deal with debt, it’s likely this effect of the sanctions have hit its peak in February. The “starving for credit while hoping for major loans from China” prospective might seem grim, but it seems from recent developments that Chinese (and other Asian) loan institution show some promise. With ever growing “co-operation” between China and Russia, I would not be eagerly (most likely, futilely) waiting for a Russian getting tired of sacrificing “for a few million people” (really doesn’t sound a small thing when you put it that way). Rather, shouldn’t the observer be more concerned what would happen in the not-unlikely event of this crisis turning out only slightly worse than the 2008 one. With the sanctions staying in place, it’ll be easy for Putin to present it as a victory to Russians and the part of the world that doesn’t treat Russia like a pariah state (which is most of it).

    Finally, again and again I encounter this sort of view when reading from all sorts of experts on Russia – but isn’t expecting Russians to be angry with Putin for the worsening of their living standards completely inconsistent with pushing for more Western involvement in Ukraine and retaining/worsening of the sanctions? After all, all Russians much older than 20 have seen their economy in tatters several times already, but only this time Putin’s propaganda has such a convenient scapegoat.

  • Like all heard “In the beginning was the Word”. As the expert on economics you should know how words influence reality, expecially in this field. Or else all those analytical centres should just be closed. So it is foolish to call Putin’s words about “signs of recovery” propaganda. Being optimistic can result in positive reaction from others and speed up the recovery.
    “sacrifice their economic well-being for the sake of a few million people in Crimea” this statement sounds quite strange. Because the opposite shall sound like “sacrifice millions of lybians and Middle East citizens for your own profits/benefits”(which is obviously stupid). Among two I’d prefer former.
    P.S. That doesn’t concern your field of analysis but:
    if as Rodgers Comments said sanctions may be lifted in July, news in other media about separatists/Kiev preparin for summer campaign sound suspicious.

  • I have not read comments for a while. Some are absurd. Ukraine was larger with Bryansk a Ukrainian speaking population & Rostov, Mineral Vody, Krasnodar & Tangorog etc Crimea was part of the Khanate & Ukraine has more of a claim as Moscow mothballed it until Putin realized the significance of Oil & Gas & Crimea’s strategic position. Sadly Ukraine’s economy is taking more of a pounding as Obama is pushing China & Russia back together

  • Tony Melendez Tony Melendez 1 month ago

    Bill Borodenko:

    Nobody believes your words except megalomaniac west Ukrainian nationalists. Many, many people have been hurt because of west Ukrainian grandiosity. American neocons are manipulating people like you.

    For the sake of world peace, the Ukrainian state must be destroyed.

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago

    Tony: What a message: “The Ukrainian state must be destroyed.” Does this include the Ukrainian people?

  • Paul Roderick Gregory Paul Roderick Gregory, Contributor 1 month ago


    You can’t just claim “lies.” I have referenced all my sources (many from the Putin administration) and have detailed my methodology. Find something specific that is a “lie” and write about that.

  • Hello. Why are you so stupid , how can all believe it. I read and view all the sources of information and to understand how false, and also the same type of steel the American media . We must look at all the worldwide . I have relatives in Ukraine and in the Donbass , then what they say – a disgrace to the United States. Do not be stupid .

  • The lie comes from your sources, just look how CNN and other channels shows images from one city and another sign was made by Jennifer Psaki, I say nothing – it’s a circus. Understanding that the state Department keeps all people for idiots, and you can agree with that. I know about corruption in Russia, about the Russian media which also lie that Putin himself it supports and its surroundings. Stole and at a time when the U.S. was praised and supported by Russia, only this time, Putin did not want to share with other countries like the USA, so its all hate. Unfortunately the American media for a short time turned into a Soviet.

  • tkirk tkirk 1 month ago

    1. The Russian Gov. says GDP cotracted by 1.9% in Q1 2015?!
    2 Putin stated ” I will tell you straight and clear: there are no Russian troops in Ukraine.”
    3 Sergent Aleksandrov Alexsandr Anatolievich captured in Ukraine stated “ I’m a soldier of the Russian Federation in Ukraine since 6th. March 2014.”
    Are the Russian Gov figures on the economy for Q1 2015 genuine?

  • A Dalengo A Dalengo 1 month ago

    Ukronomics prof Pavlo — Indeed, Russian economy should be in a tailspin as Obama claimed in Jan 20’2015 address. This is why legendary financier Jim Rogers said on Apr 6’15 “I’m very optimistic about the future of Russia. Certainly one of the most attractive stock markets in the world these days for me is Russia.” I’d take his advice over yours any time — you know, he’s worth 100s of millions while your deep knowledge of Ukronomics bought you nothing besides a meager stipend from CIA/USAID. How about your roadmap for Ukr economic miracle – works like a charm, I am sure!

  • A Dalengo A Dalengo 1 month ago

    prof Pavlo — I see that your advice is highly appreciated by Yats! He just repeated your previous post: “pro-Russian anti-Europe commie Greece got 300B from EU while ultra-democratic Ukrs got mere 17B”.
    Really, 17 or 40B? – it’s just a pocket change for Kiev thieves-in-law, sounds like an insult! Not enough to even build an Ukro-Wall around Banderastan.

  • like47ak like47ak 3 weeks ago

    I am glad to report Mr. Roderick that you can proudly wipe your annus with your “stellar grim ripper” projection.
    Russia reported GDP in 1Q 2015 less than -1.9% and it means the worst was over by general consensus. The average annual expectation is a range -3.5-4%. The matter of fact Russian Ruble is so strong, the Russia Central Bank dropped the prime rate to 12.5%, reduced currency REPO to only long term and began buying USD to increase the Foregn Reserves by $12Billion since December 2014.
    So, it appears in your blind hate of Russia, your ignorance and unfamiliarity with the subject is getting best of you.
    You should stop being a joke, while writing about country you apparently know very little about.

  • “Inevitably, Russia will win…Ukraine will pay the ultimately price”

    Sure, Tony Melendez, and steamboat was invented in Kremlin.

    If you so truly believe in your own blubbering why don’t you go watch Dmitry Kiselyov and have some stolychnaya like everyone else in the Russias does?

    You are here because you don’t believe a word you said.

  • “ I am right because I am right ” says Stanislav Sindov.

    That’s how folk talk in the Russias.

    Go figure…

  • all written under quite a tricky and confusing – one russkies vantezz wondered about to share with us…

  • shameless lies of the Western media says serzzzzfff .

    If only he knew that the phrase has been invented in the Russias by Moskal Bolsheviks almost 100 years ago and repeated many times over ever since…

  • We in Russia think differently… says Denis Koryavov Nemtsov…murder was planned by the your intelligence agencies as a yet another attempt to make a “maidan” in Russia.

    He’s right. In the Russias them do tink deefferentliy… Hard to catch the logic, because it’s the russian kind of logic.

    They speak for themselves, the russkies. No need to explain why people living in Ukraine are sick, tired, want out and away from the true Moskal russians like Denis Koryavov

  • Here’s another estonishing relevation of the Moskal Russian logic and morals from

    Tony Melendez

    For the sake of world peace, the Ukrainian state must be destroyed.

    and you say Putler is a problem? I think the problem is a lot bigger.