Vladimir Putin facing Russian unrest, oil and power struggles continue

By @preciousvsilva on
Putin attending news conference in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 17, 2015. Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Russia's current condition, economic and political, can be potential catalysts for a revolution as doomsaying intensifies in the region. Furthermore, recent market conditions reveal Russian shares and Rouble fall in light of tumbling oil prices.

Whereas talking about the risk of revolution has been common in Moscow for years, President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea along with Western economic sanctions and plunging oil prices contribute to Russia's chaotic economy. However, even with the rouble losing more than 50 percent of its value and inflation rising from 5 to 16 percent, these did not seem to affect Putin's approval ratings, according to The Australian

The president's scores remain at 80 percent because of the administration's patriotic propaganda and array of military exploits. Nonetheless, this does not make the Kremlin immune to possible unrest in the future. 

"If 2014 was the year that Russia went rogue, 2015 was the year that the costs of that course became manifest for Russians," wrote Brian Whitmore on the U.S.-funded Radio Liberty’s influential The Power Vertical Blog. 

"And next year should be when we learn whether Vladimir Putin's regime will be able to bear those costs."

Putin may already be aware that once people saw things clearly, the Kremlin may have a hard time. 

"To ordinary people, the fruit of Putin's foreign policy is bitter," wrote Leonid Bershidsky in Bloomberg View. 

"All that Russians have gotten from Putin's international activity is a boost to their pride, delivered by the Kremlin's propaganda channels -- not a tangible benefit as the economy continues to buckle under the weight of falling commodity prices."

According to The New York Times, Russian stocks, the Micex, closed on a lower note last Monday at 3.75 percent. The rouble fell sharply when trading opened at more than 76 to the dollar coming from 74.75. It was able to recover at the closing at 75.8.

Chinese economic slowdown also contributed to the fall of oil and other commodities comprising majority of Russia’s exports.

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