Just a quick little update today. Prime minister and badminton champion of The Shire Dmitry Medvedev ruffled some feathers recently when he told pensioners in the Crimea that there wasn’t any money to raise pensions to keep pace with inflation. You can read about it here. There are a couple insanely ironic points about this little exchange which must be noted.
-One of the major motivations for people in the Crimea (and other parts of Ukraine) to side with Russia was the promise of higher pensions (and salaries in many cases). How do you like that “self-determination” now?
-The annexation of the Crimea and Russia’s campaign in Eastern Ukraine are both major contributing factors to Russia’s current economic woes, and both continue to cost the state a lot of money directly. There’s no money for a pension increase, but there’s always money for more rockets and shells to lob at the “Banderites,” not to mention the poor persecuted “Russian speakers” whose salvation apparently means being bombarded almost every night.
-To be honest, these people wouldn’t necessarily have been much better off were they still in Ukraine now, but at least under such a government they could organize, protest, and agitate for a redress of their grievances. I highly doubt many Ukrainians would come out in force against better pensions. Now, however, they’re in Russia, so they don’t get a say. If they make too much trouble, they’ll be labeled as traitors paid by the US State Department and thus fair game for harassment by thugs of all sort, not to mention spurious prosecution.
Apparently Medvedev reassured the poor peon pensioner that the government would do something when they “find the money.” I suggest you start looking in Panama, Bilbo.