Peacetime Decline

Came across 2001 article by Levon Sevunts, “Clinton policy restarted cold war”, Montreal Gazette February 8, 2001: A16. Article relates to book by Dr. Stephen Cohen, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia. Had wondered why the Soviet Union collapsed. Had not appreciated the details, as summarized by Sevunts here:

As a result of U.S. backed reforms, Russia is suffering perhaps the biggest peacetime economic and social decline of any country in modern history. According to some reports, in the past 10 years the GDP has fallen about 80 per cent; 75 per cent of the population lives in poverty; and the average life expectancy of a Russian citizen has dropped by almost 20 years, approaching Third World levels.

Russia is experiencing the biggest peacetime decline in population since the Stalinist purges of the 1930s. World Health Organization officials said in Moscow on Friday that they think the population of Russia might drop by 15 million over the next 15 years, Itar-Tass Reported.

A poll conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Centre and reported by Interfax on Sunday found that 25 per cent of respondents simply could not stand any more the misery of their situation.

“So great is Russia’s economic and thus social catastrophe that we must now speak of another unprecedented development: the literal demodernization of a 20th-century country,” Cohen writes…

The Russian policy vis-à-vis the United States also has changed with President Vladimir Putin.

“I think even though Yeltsin’s Kremlin created Putin, ever since he became president, in international affairs he’s de-Yeltsinized Russian foreign policy,” Cohen said.

So some sense of the present…


About brucelarochelle
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