Russia is a growing giant with a self-confident people – led by professionals.
In our article “Ukraine – review, sanctions, Germany’s downfall“, we summarized the last two years, described the West’s miscalculations, and discussed the consequences of these mistakes for the West – especially for Germany.
The entire Western anti-Russia strategy was not crowned with success. What’s more, the war against Russia has been lost, Ukraine has been destroyed and Germany, as the EU’s flagship, is being ruled into the abyss by its own “leadership”.
I have known Russia for 26 years and live in Moscow. I have never seen Russia so strong, independent and self-confident. Self-confident, not arrogant. The Russians don’t believe that they are the greatest nation and the indispensable people and that they have to tell the rest of the world what to do. They are patriots, but not nationalists.
In this article, we describe Russia’s strengths and why it would be beneficial for the West to turn away from the anti-Russian propaganda and go with Russia instead of getting worked up by this giant.
Many nations – one homeland
Russia is a whole made up of over a hundred peoples. On the streets of Moscow you can see people who look like Chinese, Arabs, Inuites, Europeans and Africans. They all have one thing in common: they are Russian. That is the force that unites them. They don’t discuss the differences, because what they have in common determines their lives. The ineffable term “multikulti” should be explained here, because this word refers to differences and not to what they have in common – the Russianness.
“The ineffable term “multicultural” would have to be explained here”
Education – Russian skepticism
Their high level of education and culture automatically makes Russians admire other cultures, countries and peoples. Russians like to travel to other countries often. Even now, after years of anti-Russian propaganda, they have no feelings of hatred towards the West, their countries and their peoples, even if they look at Western propaganda with a growing disbelief. They cannot understand that such utter nonsense can actually be believed. This is all the more true because, unlike people in the West, they have a character trait that works to their advantage when weighing up statements from the media and politicians: Russians are skeptics – even when it comes to the Russian media.
“The Russians are not “woke” – they communicate – naturally”
The woke and gender movement in the West looks more than irritating from a distance. Western society is not even aware of how simple-minded, pretentious and stupid this trend looks to people who do not see themselves caught up in it.
In Russia, there are women and men; all Russian children – by the way, for a long time now – are born to women. If a Russian woman wants to say something to a Russian man or a Russian man to a Russian woman, he simply does it. Whether the other person looks European, gay, Asian, lesbian, Arab, Inuit or even German or Swiss is completely irrelevant.
“The Russians can laugh heartily about that.”
Bullies, gropers, screamers and suck-ups are not appreciated in Russian society and are punished by it as they deserve: they are declared “personi non grati” by society. Russians sort this out among themselves – independently and without the need for instructions from government agencies, employers or NGOs. This is much less cumbersome and therefore more efficient and self-cleansing than in the West.
Large Western banks, other large companies, administrations and universities force normal people to take language courses in order to learn how to use words and phrases that do not actually exist in the language in question. This leads to insecurity in society and people not only forget how to express themselves spontaneously, but prefer to remain silent so as not to offend some woke idiot. The Russians can laugh heartily about this.
Increasing historical awareness
If you look at the way German and Russian society view the past, there are similarities at first glance. The history of both countries is characterized by extremes.
Society in Germany, for example, finds it extremely difficult to look at its own history with an open mind. Both the events surrounding the First World War and the Nazi era prevent an unbiased view.
Russian society suffered the same fate. From 1917 onwards, any kind of appreciation for the Tsarist era was taboo. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the communist era was condemned in a similarly undifferentiated and one-sided way.
Since 2000, there has been a very cautious reassessment of Russian history. The synthesis of the Tsarist era, the Soviet Union and today’s Russia was and still is a feat of historical philosophy.
President Putin, as one of the main initiators of this development, attaches great importance to seeing Russia’s history in its entirety, as a continuum.
In our article “Remembering President Putin’s speeches as a basis for the future“, we already discussed his understanding of history.
This systematic and unbiased approach also makes it possible to better understand and categorize the extremes of Russian history.
“A comprehensive classification of Stalin’s successes is and will continue to be difficult or even impossible to reconcile in the future due to the piles of corpses left behind.”
Today, the social achievements of the late Tsarist era are openly discussed, as are the successes achieved under Stalin in terms of industrialization and overcoming the Second World War.
A classification of Stalin’s successes is and will continue to be difficult or even impossible to convey in the future due to the piles of corpses left behind.
Nevertheless, it is a sign of courage and healthy self-confidence for Russia to take this path. The reactions of Russian society speak for themselves. There is a lively discussion about all these topics, but it never leads to a stifling of the discourse as we regularly see in the West.
The Germans do not like to tackle this difficult process. Both the circumstances surrounding the First World War and the Nazi era in particular have only been discussed in rudimentary form for many decades. In our recent article “The unpunished crimes of the Holocaust“, we shed light on the problematic reappraisal of war crimes just a few years after the war. The German leadership under Adenauer was too opportunistic to allow for a real reappraisal.
The current leadership is following the same pattern of erasing history. A year ago, the Foreign Office under Foreign Minister Baerbock renamed the Bismarck Room of the Foreign Office. Even the portrait of the first Reich Chancellor and founder of the Foreign Office, who was highly esteemed elsewhere, was taken down. An affront to its own history.
Foreign Minister Baerbock hangs off Bismarck – German historical awareness
Denial of history weakens a country – Russia is doing significantly a better job and is also dealing with unsavory incidents – step by step.
Until a few years ago, the Western way of doing business was considered the measure of all things. Accordingly, everything that could be imported from the West was imported. As a result, the country’s own production base withered away. In addition to prestigious goods such as fashion, cars etc., many branches of industry such as aircraft and mechanical engineering were neglected without necessity. As a result, these key industries lost touch, were no longer profitable and disappeared to a considerable extent.
People became comfortable and lived well by selling raw materials and buying Western goods.
The political events in Ukraine led to the accession of Crimea to Russia, which triggered the first wave of sanctions in 2014. Russia not only reacted calmly, but also sanctioned agricultural imports from the West, much to the surprise of the West. Within a short space of time, this led to Russia not only becoming self-sufficient in terms of agriculture, but also becoming the largest wheat exporter in the world.
Russian competitor of the Airbus 320/Boing 737: MC-21
The fact that the Russians are still capable of building civil aircraft is demonstrated here by the example of the MC-21, a twin-engine medium-haul aircraft that competes with the European Airbus 320 and the American Boeing 737.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the military industry also suffered under the new conditions and Russian engineers left Russia in droves. Popular destinations were Israel, South Korea and the USA. The Russian army was on its knees.
After President Putin was elected, the situation changed and the Russian military and the Russian weapons factories were systematically and gradually rebuilt. The Georgian conflict in 2008 provided a final decisive boost.
We can see the result today. The Russians are leaders in the construction of combat aircraft, helicopters, drones, tanks, so-called integrated air defense and, in particular, electronic warfare, i.e. combating drones and cruise missiles or jamming enemy communications.
As a result, Russia is now the world’s number 2 in terms of arms exports.
At 16%, the share in US dollars seems small compared to the American 40%. However, the figures are a poor yardstick, as American weapon systems cost many times more than Russian ones.
In 2018, the Americans sold the Indians 6 Apache combat helicopters for USD 930 million; unit price USD 155 million for one helicopter.
The Russian Kamov Ka-52 “Alligator” costs almost 10 times less at USD 16 million.
In specialist literature, these two weapon systems are considered to be leading and on an equal footing.
In addition, the Russian Kamov has had to prove itself in war for years and is constantly being improved. Although the Apache has been used in crisis areas, it has never had to prove itself against serious opponents, which means that its suitability for war is based on paper and marketing.
The Apache helicopter gained inglorious fame in 2007 when it was used to murder Iraqi civilians. The following film clip was originally published by Julian Assange (Wikileaks) – one of the reasons for his persecution.
Truly not a baptism of fire – nobody knows what the Apache is really capable of – but it is expensive. – Source: Al Jazeera/Wikileaks
The basis for independence is a fact of the greatest significance, which of course is not mentioned in the Western media: Russia has no net debt, and is the only industrialized country in the world to do so.
Russia could pay off its modest gross debt at any time.
The following figures show the path Russia has taken since 2000:
When President Putin took over, Russia’s gross debt was 55.9%. In 2023, this will be 21.2% gross.
By comparison: USA 2001: 53% – today 123.3%, Germany 2001: 58% – today 66%.
The world of debt
If we look at the world’s debt by measuring the percentage share of countries in the debt pie, the following picture emerges.
Source: Visual Capitalist
The USA therefore holds 34% of global debt, Germany 3.01% and Russia 0.41%.
This approach also sheds light on Russia’s financial independence.
If one believes the Western media, Russia is an inefficient giant that is only still alive because of its oil wealth.
John McCain, one of the best-known American warmongers against Russia, coined the famous and no less false phrase:
“Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country”.
I am a big skeptic of measuring a country’s economic performance solely on the basis of gross domestic product, as increased government spending and money printing – both of which are detrimental to an economy – leads to an increase in gross domestic product. Nevertheless, this measure dominates the West.
If one follows this philosophy, it becomes clear that Russia – together with other BRICS countries – left the West far behind between 2000 and 2020.
In 2023, the Russian economy grew by over 3%. In the third quarter, the economy grew pro rata temporis by 5.5%.
The aim of the collective West was to bring Russia to its knees economically. From a Western perspective, the result is sobering. In contrast to Russia, Germany is already in recession. This is due to a double effect: on the one hand, the government deprived the German economy of the cheap energy necessary for the German economic model. On the other hand, Germany weakened its budget through insane green energy dreams, which not only lead the German budget, but also the German citizens to the abyss financially, such as the forced conversion of heating to expensive heat pumps in the absence of energy security.
Yesterday, on January 19, 2024, the Handelsblatt newspaper pointed this out in an article entitled “Russia is growing faster than Germany” and is desperately trying to find an explanation, naturally omitting the most important argument: Russia has no net debt.
Russia is a reliable ally…
Although Russia is the largest country in the world, its population of just under 150 million is a modest size compared to China, India or the USA, which makes Russia’s current geopolitical influence all the more impressive.
There are good reasons for this. The Russians are reliable when it comes to agreements.
Reliability carries weight, not only in normal life, but also in geopolitics.
The Russians are extremely loyal alliance partners, which has given them – together with China – a leading position in organizations such as BRICS, SCO, etc. Foreign Minister Lavrov enjoys an excellent reputation in all countries outside the collective West.
… in stark contrast to the West
Before the Second World War, the Soviets were despised by the Western powers and both the USA and Great Britain sent troops to fight the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1917.
Stalin also sought an alliance with the British before the Second World War, before making the pact with Hitler in August 1939. However, the British gave Stalin the cold shoulder. Only after Hitler broke this pact did the British and the Americans enter into an alliance with Stalin, as a war against Hitler could not be won without the Russians. The rest is history – it was the Soviets who bore the brunt of the fight against Nazi Germany.
As soon as the Russians had done their duty, they were fought again. The Americans – who had become the hegemons after the Second World War – needed a new enemy. The gigantic American military-industrial complex was looking for a justification to survive. Winston Churchill, the marketing herald of the Americans, gave the famous Iron Curtain speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, in March 1946. The Cold War was born.
Militarily superior to the whole of NATO
It runs like a red thread through history: Russia is always completely underestimated militarily. The French and the Germans bled to death in the vast expanses of this gigantic empire.
NATO forced the Ukrainians, who they had been arming and training since 2014, to do the same against their will, after an early end to this bloodbath was successfully prevented by the American flagbearer Boris Johnson.
It is always claimed that the Russians are losing, but even the map on the Handelsblatt website contradicts this claim, albeit inaccurately:
Situation on December 5, 2023 – Source: Handelsblatt
Western wonder weapons are also one thing above all: expensive and untested in a war against an equal opponent. In our article “Wonder weapons, weapons systems and gibberish” we foresaw the futility of this policy and were proved right. The Western super tanks – complex, fragile, heavy – are inferior to the systems built for the Russian terrain.
NATO as a whole is at war with Russia. Western soldiers and mercenaries were unable to turn the situation in Ukraine’s favor.
The overpriced Western artillery systems were also ineffective, not only because of their complexity, but because they simply ran out of ammunition. A war of this intensity was beyond the imagination of the NATO leadership. Furthermore, the Russians have the better personnel: well trained, resilient, motivated and well paid, and the moral support among the Russian population is priceless.
In our article in February “Sleepwalkers at work: World War 3 has probably already begun“, we concluded that World War 3 has actually already begun. It is not surprising that NATO does not want to know about this, because this association, which is basically nothing more than a chattering club, has lost the war against Russia and thus lost its threat potential.
Russia has adapted to the situation within 20 months. Weapons production has increased by between 5.5 and 17 times, depending on the type of weapon.
It seems that Russia is preparing itself for a long conflict with NATO and is making large resources available for a potentially long military conflict. The fact that Russia has managed to do this so far with a rising gross national product is astonishing – even for me.
“If, for example, the ECB or SNB were to set the key interest rate at a level of inflation plus 6%, it would be game over within 24 hours.”
However, it would be presumptuous and arrogant to claim that Western sanctions are not harming Russia. They do, but nowhere near to the extent that the West intended and expected. Many products that go beyond basic supplies – where Russia is self-sufficient – have become more expensive. However, the Russian central bank is helping the population by setting the key interest rate – currently at 15% – well above the inflation rate of around 9%. Russia can afford this because its debt is low. If, for example, the ECB or the SNB were to set the key interest rate at a level of inflation plus 6%, it would be game over within 24 hours.
Elvira Nabiullina, President of the Russian Central Bank, known for her ingenious monetary policy and her cautious assessment of the overall economic situation, told the Russian newspaper RBK that the ban from the SWIFT system and the freezing of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves represented a major challenge for the Russian financial sector.
Elvira Nabiollina – Lightning clever and gets results
It is therefore not the case that the sanctions simply roll off Russia’s back. Living with this is a veritable feat of strength for Russia, but one that it is mastering with enviable composure.
It can be taken for granted that the best-known leadership duo – President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov – are doing their job successfully and to the benefit of their own people. The propaganda spread in the West pales in comparison to the results.
This is no surprise, as Putin and Lavrov both have an enviable education and training and are therefore qualified for their jobs. However, it would be presumptuous to believe that Russia depends on these two personalities. The feats of strength that Russia has accomplished since 2000 and will continue to accomplish in the future depend on a very good team, including the aforementioned Elvira Nabiullina.
The situation is different in the West. The example of Germany shows that the current traffic light government is driving the industrial dreamland to the wall. The main protagonists – Scholz, Baerbock and Habeck – have one thing in common: they have no idea of the task they have to fulfill, they are all weak personalities, dazzlers, mostly uneducated and ideologically blinded. The people look on – partly helplessly, partly enthusiastically.
Russia has time
The facts of freedom from debt, self-sufficiency in raw materials and basic goods, military strength, the ability to produce military goods faster than they are consumed and stability in society lead to a strength that stands above everything else: The Russians have time.
Every businessman and every military leader knows that time pressure leads to decisions that jeopardize their own existence.
We will see a financial bloodbath in the West in 2024 when highly indebted companies have to refinance their bonds, which they financed at practically zero, at interest rates that are up to 10 times higher. Time also plays a major role here. The German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on this last November.
Hitler’s Wehrmacht, for example, was of high quality, but due to the lack of oil reserves and a shortage of reservists – a consequence of Versailles – it had to complete its campaigns quickly. The so-called Blitzkrieg tactics of the German Wehrmacht – a term coined by a British journalist – brought quick results; the conquest of France in particular is emphasized time and again. However, these successes came at a very high price in terms of bloodshed. The French campaign alone cost the Germans around 45,000 dead and over 130,000 wounded and missing. The losses in Russia in 1941, where the Germans were stopped before Moscow in mid-December 1941, amounted to a staggering 750,000 dead. These losses could never be compensated for with well-trained soldiers; nevertheless, the deaths in Russia continued for another 3 ½ years. Anyone under time pressure pays a high price.
All in all, the fact that the Russians have time is the overwhelming advantage over the West. This advantage is the result of the combination of many strengths that we have described here.
Since the start of sanctions in 2014 and the beginning of the sanctions storm in 2022, Russia has not only been able to hold its own, but has also managed to become stronger. This has a lot to do with its society, its leadership, its enviable financial situation, its military strength and many other aspects that we have listed here. Russia is strong in absolute terms and in relative terms, i.e. in comparison with its opponents in the West, in an extremely advantageous overall situation – and it has time.
“Everyone should prepare themselves this year for the fact that the world will look completely different at the end of 2024 – very probably worse, not better.”
It is difficult to predict how this will end, as the Ukraine conflict is just one piece of the mosaic in a world that is changing at lightning speed. The number of variables is constantly increasing. The flashpoint in the Middle East alone increases the risk of escalation many times over. Who would have thought a few months ago that the Houthis, a people who have been battered for years, would manage to keep the entire West on tenterhooks? – Everyone should prepare themselves this year for the fact that the world will look completely different at the end of 2024 – very probably worse, not better.