With 74% of the votes, the 'independent' candidate, Vladimir Putin, got another re-election that offers him the opportunity to govern until 2024. He has been doing it since 2000 although, at first, rotating between the position of prime minister, with Presidents Yeltsin and Medvedev, and then without interposed masks.
On this occasion he set aside the traditional list, United Russia, probably, some say, because of the falling reputation of the list. Some news cables report that voter participation exceeded the last elections’ one, with 65% of the voter roll, others say the opposite, that it was reduced to 60%. The participation rate matters, because it reveals the degree of abstention from the electorate, as before as well as now.
Putin could have reaped, at the end of the day, the vote of 44% of the roll. If the numerous cases of fraud that were exposed are discounted, the Russian bonaparte would have electoral support well below half of the citizens.
The electoral design had a Chavist whiff. Putin was the exponent of nationalism in front of an opposition that he denounced "liberal". At the time of the lists’ closing he exposed his Madurist nature, because he excluded from the elections the "liberal" candidates with greater ascendancy. Alexei Navalny, the man with greater recognition of this wing, called to boycott the elections.
Let's say that Putin claims his condition as an alternative to any 'conservative restoration'. As a defender of 'authoritarianism' against the 'republic', it extorts the electorate from the 'national and popular field'.
The similarity is not, however, equality: Putin has made political career fiercely repressing the nationalities that were left on the Russian borders after the dismantling of the USSR, and even the ones that are outside. There’s no need to add that the clash with the United Kingdom, in recent days, about the murder of a double agent of the services of both countries, brought a greater aura of nationalism to whoever was an agent of the KGB in the years of the "cold War".
The special place of Putin in the last decades of Russia is to have led the political operation of the Security Services to avoid the national disintegration of the country, as was outlined in the first years of the capitalist restoration.
Some Trotskyists expected that such function would have been exercised by these Services to prevent the disintegration of the USSR. It was one of the many illusions that manifested during the period of Russia's bureaucratic degeneration.
What happened, in short, was a despotic operation of restorative content, which put the Services as disciplinary arbiters of the bloody struggles between mafias and oligarchies for the hoarding of state property of the Soviet era. It was not a 'constitutional' or 'peaceful' operative, but, to a certain point, a civil war at the top, neither partial nor relatively 'progressive', because it limited itself to substituting an anarchic larceny for an ordered one.
The Putinist regime represents, in a more or less direct way, the confiscating oligarchy of Russia. The issue of the murder of the double spy, in recent days, revealed, once again, the enormous fortunes that the Russian oligarchy has washed in the London City – which, for that reason, has been re-labeled as 'Londongrade'.
On these very same days, the energy company, EN +, has made an initial offer of shares on the British Stock Exchange. Neither administrative measures nor the abusive increase in interest rates have been able to stop the flight of capital from the Russian oligarchy.
At the international level, the function of the new regime was manifested in Ukraine, when NATO imposed a pro-imperialist regime there, despite the repeated promises made, since the presidency of Bush Senior, about that Ukraine belonged to Russia’s "zone of influence".
Putin responded with the sudden occupation of the Crimean peninsula and with the conditional support of the Ukrainian eastern resistance. This operation considerably increased Putin's nationalist Bonapartism.
In September 2015 there was a replica in Syria, when Russia sent part of its fleet and aviation to control the airspace of Syria and strengthen the support of Iran and Hezbollah to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The political pressure of these events on the Russian population has been enormous – for some, even, a re-edition of the "homeland war" that confronted Nazism.
A socialist and revolutionary political opposition to a regime of these characteristics needs to establish very solid roots – first of all with a clarity of theory, strategy and program.
Beyond the extent of its territory and the importance of its military arsenal, Russia is a very minor power in the world economy. It is, above all, an exporter of gas and oil, and unable to finance the gas pipelines which project these exports to Germany, to the west, and China, to the southeast.
The elections of last Sunday passed when the prices of these raw materials were 25% above the well in which they had fallen in 2014. In 2015 it suffered a huge recession, from which it began to emerge in 2017.
The ruble's price and the living standard of the masses fell brutally; the average salary ranges between the 300/400 dollars. The pressure exerted by the outflow of money and capital has led to a policy of high interest rates and a brake on social spending.
Russia is going through a brutal investment crisis, which increased 130% from the ruins of the 1998 crash, while the gross product did so at around 330 percent. The financial speculation and even more the real estate one have taken the scarce national savings.
Russia grows at 1.5 / 2.0% per annum, when it should do so at 6% to start coming out of the backwardness. For this reason, the slogan of the oligarchy is: "Let us capitulate before the NATO to lift economic sanctions; reduction of military spending and military operations abroad; liberal policy and legal security to attract foreign capital; fiscal adjustment and greater labor flexibility ".
Putin, "inspired" by his colleague Trump, has announced that he "studies" a strong tax reduction in Profit, with the purpose of encouraging the repatriation of Russian capital from tax havens. Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, has just reported that the outflow of capital represents the most important threat to the continuity of Moscow's banking system.
The criminal war that Russia is developing in Syria has no future – Putin seeks a way out. This is demonstrated by the meetings he hosted in the cities of Sochi and Astrana to organize the distribution of Syria among the contending powers.
The result is it has ceded part of northern Syria to Turkey, in exchange for the reconquest of the city of Guta, in the vicinity of Damascus and another part of the same border to the United States. Israel has taken over parts of the south, through pro-Zionist Syrian militias. Putin's intervention represents an unbearable cost for Russia; Gas and oil prices are falling again.
After last Sunday, news agencies will face the task of talking much more about what happens inside Russia.
* Allusion to the phrase of the deputy Kirchnarista Diana Conti after the triumph of Cristina in the presidential election of 2011, predicting an "eternal Cristina".