Class Six – Year Five – Fall 2012 Spring 2013 Life in Modern Russia Adjunct Professor – Joe Boisvert Gulf Coast State College Encore Program
Russia on Dangerous Course• As long as corruption exists on the scale that it does in Russia today, there is the real and present danger of weakening the Russian state with many dangerous potential outcomes.• Those outcomes range losing control of Russia’s resource rich eastern region to having Russia’s nuclear arsenal fall in the hands of unsavory, rogue regimes.• In other words, while the threat of reverting to Soviet Union is diminishing with the graying dividing line, there is a real possibility of losing Russia to something far more pernicious because of internal Russian weakness. This is crossing the dangerous red line.
Russian Mafia 2012 A World History Documentary on The Russian Mafia. Details from the start of the Russian Mafia till now. In 1995, from the start of Russian Mafia over 3 million people were Killed including Mafia gangs, politician, Business men and ever journalist who figure them out
In 1994, Russias InteriorMinister, Mikhail Yegorov,estimated that thenumber of organizedcrime groups had grownfrom 785 duringGorbachevs reign to over5,000. By 1996, thenumber had grown toalmost 8,000. Today, noone is really sure what thenumber has grown to.
Here is just a simple comparison of pricesin Moscow and two other Russian cities as of today: • Real Estate in Moscow (center): new one- room apartment is approximately $1,400,000.00. Real Estate in Moscow (suburbs): new one- room apartment is approximately $600,000.00. Real Estate in Samara (center): new one-room apartment is approximately $75,000.00. Real Estate in Kazan (center): new one-room apartment is approximately $60,000.00.
High Costs of Real Estate in Russian Cities• The city which has the most expensive housing in Russia is its capital. Actually, Moscow takes the 3rd place among the cities that have the most expensive real estate in the world. Prices for accommodation in Moscow suburbs are lower than in the center, but still much higher than in the rest of the country.
Deeply Divided Society• Even a cursory examination of the social situation in modern Russia reveals a deeply divided society. An array of statistics documents the reality of two different worlds that hardly come into contact with one another. One—the world of wealth and luxury—is inhabited by an insignificant minority. The other—the world of social decline and an arduous struggle for life’s necessities—is inhabited by millions upon millions.• Figures showing the distribution of wealth reveal the glaring nature of this social polarization. According to government data, the incomes of the very richest members of Russian society are 15 times those of the poorest—one of the highest levels of social inequality to be found among the world’s leading countries. In Moscow, this difference is 53-fold.
Below the poverty line• According to figures published by the World Bank at the end of last year, 20 percent of the Russian population lives below the poverty line, which is defined as a monthly income of 1,000 rubles (less than 30 Euros, or $38).• The great majority of Russian families are teetering on the edge of poverty. The World Bank has calculated that an average decrease in income of 10 percent would produce a 50 percent rise in the poverty rate. The majority of the poor in Russia are to be found among working families headed by adults with average technical professional training, and in families with children
Average Income• At the end of 2003, average monthly income was calculated at 2,121 rubles (60 Euros/$77 a month), with those who are employed receiving 2,300 rubles (65 Euros/$83) and pensioners receiving 1,600 rubles (45 Euros/$58). (range 58 to 830• Those whose income falls below these levels are defined as poor.• A second category, those who are badly off, includes families where per-capita income lies between 2,121 and 4,400 rubles (60-126 Euros/$77-$161). A significant section of the population can be found in these two categories. Family Range (77-161)
Die Early• The average Russian man can presently expect to live only to 58. That means married women, on average, are widowed for 15 years. This is due both to women’s greater life expectancy and to the younger age at which women marry.
• The wealthy end of the spectrum Then there is the other Russia. It finds its personification in figures like Roman Abramovich, governor of the remote region of Chukotka (just across the Bering Strait from Alaska) and owner of a controlling interest in the Russian oil giant Sibneft.• He is considered the richest man in Britain, where he now resides. Two years ago, he acquired the English soccer club Chelsea for an astronomical sum.• Russia is ranked third in the world for the number of billionaires, and thirteenth for having the largest enterprises.• Taken as a whole, the fortunes of Russia’s billionaires amount to nearly half as much as the total value of the largest Russian enterprises. By comparison, in the US, this sum amounts to 6 percent.
Oil Executive Salaries• The president of Lukoil gets $1.5 million. If the business achieves certain goals, he enjoys a bonus of $2.2 million. The vice president gets $800,000 annually, with up to $1.1 million in bonuses.
The “New Russians,”• The “new Russians,” as they are sometimes called, often live abroad, where they can be found in the most expensive hotels, clubs and restaurants.• They possess racehorses, yachts and mansions. Practically every billionaire has his own yacht and airplane.• They particularly enjoy buying expensive antiques and jewelry, as well as purchasing real estate in the most expensive areas of Europe’s capitals. A special attraction for them is London.
Skolkovo is a modern Russian center of research and development and new industrial zone,
What to Fear• This fear is not principally founded in the economic or even the military power that this RSU might assert globally. The fear is founded in another important but more subtle lessons from the Cold War: Namely, RSU might once again become an ideological competitor and attempt to thwart Western values of democracy and capitalism. Modern Russia is a good place. Russians today enjoy the highest standards of living that they have ever experienced. Consumer goods and food are plentiful; barring the strain that rampant corruption puts on the system, the current economic system is capitalistic. There is also more political freedom and civic society empowerment than ever before.
Averages do • However true these observations may be, they are statementsNot Tell the Whole about "averages." For example, imagine three people who onTruth average earn $100,000 per year. • We can imagine this to be a happy group based on averages, but we can easily imagine one of those three earning $300,000 per year while the other two are abjectly poor and earn nothing. The point is that averages sometimes yield useful information but often deceive. So, while - on average - Russians have better lives than ever before, the situation is not universally true for every Russian.
Young Have Different • .Ideas Than OldYounger Russians either do notknow the Soviet Union or spentso little time there that itsexistence does not registry withthem meaningfully.They are used to having openaccess to good, seeing Bentleysand BMWs cruise the streets,and their peers become wealthyinternational tennis stars byvirtue of their talent and work