From the newspapers (September 2009)

The sticky multipolarity

Leonid Radzikhovsky, Rossiyskaya Gazeta

In 1990-1991, it was clear that Russia's superpower days were over. But the idea that the victor of the Cold War was now the US was unbearable for Russia. A new idea served as a consolation: instead of a unipolar world order replacing the bipolar world, a multipolar world system emerged. In the early Nineties, many thought Russia's interpretation of "multipolarity" was an attempt to look virtuous. But only 10 years later, unbiased people could clearly see that multipolarity is just a statement of fact. [Look at] the US war in Iraq. Unlike in Vietnam or Korea, the US quickly secured a military victory. But not only it was not felt in the US (or anywhere else), the victory turned out to be a nightmare for America and for Bush personally. The accusation of a "colonial war" became a moral sentence, despite the fact that there was no colonial war! It is impossible in the 21st century to institute a 19th-century semi-colonial, manageable administration in Iraq. But why are classic colonial war and the victory impossible? Because there is something stronger than the US, China or any other country... time. The use of brutal military force, which has been the norm throughout human history, is now considered to be pathology, a crime. "Colonial helmets are no longer worn"; in a multipolar world, they're out of fashion.

The internet rescues Russia

Igor Petrushov, Trud

President Dmitry Medvedev is giving consideration to a letter written by a futuristic writer, Maxim Kalashnikov, which was addressed to the Kremlin and published on the internet. In it, the writer proposes to create an innovative, futuristic city that will "inspire the nation".
The blogger was responding to the president's article: "Russia, keep moving!" In the letter he writes: "Friends! Let's see how serious Medvedev is about his stated intentions." The following day, Mr Medvedev showed the seriousness of his intentions by instructing the chief of the presidential administration to take note. "With this gesture, Medvedev was trying to say that any person in our country may be heard," Stanislav Belkovsky, director of the National Strategy Institute, says. However, the expert believes that Kalashnikov's ideas won't be realised.

Recovery in big numbers

Olga Tanas, Gazeta

In the 12 months since the beginning of the crisis, the Russian authorities have spent 11 trillion roubles ($362bn) to save the economy. As a result, they have helped the financial system but not prevented the collapse of the economy.
The government still has a few months until the end of the year to save it, but it is unlikely to succeed. Analysts blame the anti-crisis package. The Russian government has spent 4 trillion roubles less than planned, Reuters writes, citing the data from presidential experts, the Central Bank and the government.
The bulk of allocations were used to save the stock market and the banking system at the onset of the crisis. In September-December 2008, the Central Bank allocated 3.8 trillion roubles and the budget 2.8 trillion roubles to issue unsecured and subordinated loans, place temporarily free budget funds with banks, and purchase Russian companies' shares and bonds. Overall, the federal budget has allocated 326.7 billion roubles ($10.75bn) out of the planned 452.1bn roubles ($14.9bn) in 2009.

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