By Karl Spain
Merkel, Kerry, Obama, Hollande, Putin, you name’em, most of them are pessimistic about the agreement they just finished hammering out on a Ukrainian cease-fire.
So, that’s the view from the top, what about the little people, the unarmed ambulance drivers getting shot and killed as they attempt to rescue the wounded from the battlefield?
From the Guardian, published in the U.K.
“We’re seeing more casualties,” said an ambulance driver with the call-sign Biker. “The mortar and rocket attacks are getting worse. It seems like the ceasefire will only be the start of more problems.”
A local shop keep said she wasn’t planning to repair the damage done by a mortar shell because “they’ll just bomb it again.”
Putin denies that these Rebel units using the most sophisticated and advanced Russian military gear, comprised of Russian special-forces marines “On vacation” (he said that!), are under his control. Shame on you Putin, you could have been the great father Russia needed, instead you’ve stripped her bare, exposed her to war and a cold and hungry Russian winter, shame on you, shame.
Fact: After 70 years of stagnation, Putin had the Russian economy growing, investment flowing in, Russian GDP per capita climbing faster than the world median, no debt, and a strong position as an energy player developing. Now, his decision to take over a country with 45 million desperately poor people, a move that would have destroyed the momentum in his economy if he had succeeded without sanctions or objections has blown up in his face and the poor Russian people, once again, will pay with their lives and their treasure for the brutality of their leaders.
The Ruble has crashed. All German, English, French and American technological and industrial cooperation projects including oil drilling, pipeline and other high tech deals are dead, cancelled, being unwound, even stopped over the strident objections of some of those companies.
A growing economy is now in GDP decline, a stunning reversal in a short time. And Putin smugly smiles at these conferences ridiculously believing that because his troops have advanced a few miles while the stupid Germans and Americans talk, that he’s won. What an ass. He has such a weak understanding of economics, Putin doesn’t understand that he’s paying a $100 billion a mile — for every single mile gained of territory in a country where the per capita income of the conquered natives is actually less than half of his own in Russia.
Absorbing a broken East Germany in this condition hurt West Germany’s growth for 15 years. And they were much richer per capita; much more organized and were highly motivated to re-integrate East Germany. Russia will offer Ukraine none of this and will in fact simply be taken down by her economic problems Putin has no answer for.
The Ukrainians could get up off their backs by themselves, but under Putin’s authoritarian hegemony rules for his vassal states, this will not be possible.
The Ukrainians actually get this very clearly; it’s what their economic deal with Europe was about and what this war is about. They want to turn to the west, to market reforms and the European market and this whole concept distresses Putin, being trapped inside the false net-sum logic universe he lives in. He can’t see how Ukraine and Russia, separately, could both do better as a result of that separation. He’s a killer, a net-sum logic kind if guy who only sees Ukraine’s potential gains – as having to come at Russia’s expense.
It’s utter nonsense of course, like believing a business renaissance in Harlem — would be bad for Brooklyn. The opposite occurs naturally. Economists understand this (they warned Putin repeatedly not to do this stuff, he brushed them aside), physicists understand this, mathematicians understand this but the masses, a lot of politicians and all despots can’t see it.
Despots like Putin need fear, something they create, to get power. And fear is the friend of the net-sum logic motivated man or woman. If Putin only knew the true economic cost of his net-sum logic mistakes to the Russian people, he’d kill himself rather than all the people he disagrees with, which by now is a list in the thousands.