For the third consecutive year, “Forbes” has named the Russian president “the most powerful man in the world.” For the third consecutive year, the US business magazine does not fear ridicule. For, despite the strokes of brilliance, though conducted propaganda and disinformation, Vladimir Putin dominates the world in any field. Whether the economy, military power or even diplomacy, “New Russias” Putin is lagging behind, a remnant of the great world power that was the Soviet Union.
Russia is, at best, ranked tenth in the world, according to the IMF. Far behind the United States (1), China (2), Japan (3rd) and Germany and even France (6th) and Italy (9th). Worse: the Russian economy, already low, is in the process of collapse, hit by lower oil prices (halved), which represents nearly half of the state budget, 25% of GDP and 70% of exports, according to figures from Russian Ministry of Finance. The recession is expected to be 3% in 2015 and continue into 2016. For now, to soften the blow , Putin has tapped into the Stabilization Fund and reserves, about 400 billion, with profits accumulated time high oil prices. But the fund will soon be exhausted. In short, economically unless the dramatic rise in oil prices – which is considered unlikely by experts – Russia will remain economically weak countries that will sink even more.
Economically weak, Russia is “a poor power ‘, to quote the title of the excellent book of the history of this country written by Georges Sokoloff. Certainly, the country’s striking potential and atomic destruction remains, if not full, at least enough to destroy the planet. But its conventional forces, also largely overestimated the time of the Soviet Union and the Cold War, are quite low, poorly trained, ill-equipped. Most military analysts believe that the Russian army is “a paper tiger”.