Marat Guelman* speculated yesterday about how the Kremlin will attempt to wriggle out of the corner they’ve back themselves into both economically and politically.
It is a very tragic situation, when the powers that be signal their own impotence, but still want to stay in power. What will they say to you now? How will they wriggle out?
1. firstly and most importantly, they will try to separate politics from economics. Krymnash from the sanctions, self-imposed isolation from the newly expensive products [see my post yesterday about how inflation is impacting Russians at the store -ed], world conflict from the ruble.
2. they will say that it is even worse in Ukraine and the rest of the world. It is impossible to explain this to a person who has a difficult life, but it can be proved that it is even worse nearby. Moreover travel will be less.
3. they will frighten people by saying that after them will come somebody even worse. Kadyrov, Motorola [the nickname of so-called pro-Russian rebel leader, Arseny Pavlov]. Then we must also turn Khodorkovsky and Navalny into bogeymen.
4. and it is clear about [the use of] internal and external enemies. It is difficult to make plausible, but they will attempt it.
5. I believe 100% that they will bring in the Russian Orthodox Church. Think more about the eternal soul, and “poverty as a virtue”. They will talk about the advantages of poverty as well as the advantages of a weak ruble.
6. the new pseudo-opposition leader will gather those who were not effected by the first 5 points, and will convert the voices of the disaffected into a loyal political concoction.
*Guelman left Russia in January 2015, and now resides in Montenegro.