To say that Vladimir Putin has been in denial over his war would be an understatement. He only recently admitted (after a year of embarrassment) that Russian troops were making far fewer advances in Ukraine than he expected, but the Putin backlash is becoming realer by the day. Angry Russian elites were allegedly recorded while labelling him as “Satan,” and his former underlings have expressed their stunned state over how his “Superman” image has disintegrated.
To make matters worse for him, the Russian economy is apparently in a state of collapse. Putin recently delivered a public guilt-trip to billionaires while asking them to prop up the tattered financial state of Russia, given that the company cannot even muster up paper or Viagra, but recently a billionaire oligarch (and one-time Putin ally) laid down some reality.
As reported by Forbes, industrialist tycoon Oleg Deripaska proclaimed that “they” (Putin’s regime?) has started to “shake us down” because “[t]here will be no money already next year.” And now, Putin has been forced to admit that Western sanctions are really hurting Russia. Via CNN:
“The illegitimate restrictions imposed on the Russian economy may indeed have a negative impact on it in the medium term,” Putin said in televised remarks Wednesday reported by state news agency TASS.
CNN’s analysis points towards Russia being unable to control its own expenditures (which happens in wartime), which jumped 59% from January 2022 to January 2023 while the government’s incoming wallet shrunk by 35%. The World Bank apparently points towards worsening times for the “medium term” with a further 7% contraction due to the ongoing war and sanctions from dozens of countries. All the while, Russians have also been dealing with a sorry imitation of McDonald’s, too. In other words, Putin cannot possibly expect to remain president if he loses this war.