09/28/2022, 09.15
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Military mobilisation for Ukraine a death blow to Russian economy

by Vladimir Rozanskij

This is the analysis of economist Vladislav Inozemtsev. Those in power view citizens as farm animals. Thousands of families will be left without any income. Retail trade dies in large swathes of the country whihc is heading for -10% GDP growth. About 3-4 million people will disappear from the labour market.



Moscow (AsiaNews) - One of Russia's most authoritative economists, Vladislav Inozemtsev, has published on theins.ru his assessment of the impact the military mobilisation of these days will have on the Russian economy, calling it "the final balance of the Putin era". Director of the Centre for Research on Post-Industrial Society in Moscow, he starts from the feeling now widespread throughout Russia that 'we have woken up in a different country'.

The new constitution with the resetting of the Kremlin dictator's terms of office, the arrest of Aleksej Naval'nyj, the recognition of the independence of the Donbass and the invasion in Ukraine have created the 'apocalyptic' effect, according to Inozemtsev, of restarting Russian history. In his opinion, however, 'none of these events is comparable in its effects to the mobilisation, the real milestone that divides the before and after of our recent history'.

Nor is the moral aspect of the issue, the 'genocide of the Russian people on the Ukrainian front', nor is it worth delving into the meanders of history, comparing the current call to arms with those of the past. Restricting himself to the economic aspect, the specialist believes that 'this time it will be felt on the skin of every Russian citizen', exponentially accelerating the crisis that began with the invasion and related sanctions.

The discrepancy in mobilisation information reveals that the part of the population affected is much larger than what should be formally involved, and could even exceed one million people. As the many stories of these days testify, people of all ages and social conditions are being called out, with mass gatherings of 'good' men in the streets and homes, in metro stations and university lecture halls, accentuating the feeling of a generalised catastrophe in Russian society.

In a country where there are officially over 3 million unemployed, there are many other categories defined by Inozemtsev as 'of no economic use'. At least 700,000 bodyguards, more than 100,000 private drivers, 80,000 deputies of various administrative levels describe the weight of the post-Soviet bureaucracy, such as the almost 800,000 railway employees, as many as in the rest of Europe.

The economist believes that 'mobilisation reveals how power looks at citizens as farm animals, and the more one goes to the provinces and the countryside, the more military conscription destroys social reality', as the examples of the Far East, Buryatia or Jacuzia show, where the harvest affects more than half of the male population. Thousands of families will be left without any income, and retail trade is dying in vast areas of the country; 'GDP was set to fall by 4-5%, and now it is heading towards -10%'.

The Russian economy had long been based on the big cities and major companies, an 'oligarchic economy' whereby 20% of the country's GDP was only related to Moscow. Only, unlike the peasants, the citizens of the metropolises have no intention of going to 'shovel the bloody rubbish of the Ukraine', and flee Russia by the tens of thousands, or try to hide far away from their place of residence in order not to collect their draft cards. City centres are emptying out, and the leading sector of the Russian economy is also desertifying.

In a few days the mobilisation will be organised not according to residence, but according to place of work, and this will be 'the coup de grace for the economy: millions of people will prefer to lose their jobs, so as not to end up in the ranks of the army'. According to some calculations, some 3-4 million people will disappear from the world of work, and in fact it will be the dissolution of the Russia of the last decades, leaving a vacuum that will be very difficult to fill.

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