Russia recently announced a major expansion and reorganization of its army. … The odds of any of this happening are low.
Vladimir Putin declared that this new force would be created regardless of costs. That means less money for economic expansion and consumer goods. It’s a return to the Soviet Union era economy.
The communist Soviet economy failed so badly that it caused national bankruptcy and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Older Russians remember how bad things were during the Soviet period and so should Putin. But he was an officer in the KGB when the Soviet Union collapsed and members of the KGB were a privileged class that lived better than the average Russian. KGB officers were out of touch with the reality most Russians lived in. Most Russians enjoyed higher standards of living after 1991 and will not willingly return to the bad old days. …
Implementing this new plan implies that Putin believes he can convince Russians to make unprecedented sacrifices at a time when Russia is the aggressor, not defending the motherland (Russia). Putin believes most Russians will put up with this and he will increase border security to halt the exodus of military age Russians who prefer economic opportunity to the alternative; poverty and obedience to a former KGB officer who wants a return to the old ways. So far over seven million Russians have permanently left Russia because of Putin’s increasingly Soviet way of doing things….
When the invasion failed more spectacularly than anyone predicted, and Europeans both imposed really massive sanctions cut and provided massive aid to the Ukrainian war effort, a growing number of Putin advisors left Russia. …
The former advisors gave details of the military and economic advice Putin received and ignored. Putin believed his own propaganda that Ukraine was actually part of Russia but was persuaded by NATO and other evil Westerners, to become independent in 1991 when the Soviet Union literally fell apart. … This gave Russians the opportunity to become far more affluent than they were when the Soviet Union existed.
Putin disagreed with this and openly declared that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a great historical tragedy and he had the power to remedy it. Putin was going to re-assemble the Soviet Union. None of its newly independent nations agreed with the Putin plan. Many Russians agreed with Putin but a growing number did not after they saw what happened after 2014 when Putin first tried to force Ukraine into the new Russian Empire.
Russians are suffering a lot for the bad judgment of their leader and his plans to keep doing what hurts Russia and Russians the most. Putin is losing sight of the fact that Russians have, twice in the last century, overthrown governments that caused great harm to Russia. Putin believes this won’t happen to him but then so did the Tsars and their communist successors.
Russia hardly even pretends to be other than an administrative state belonging to one man (who might be dead, replaced by body doubles — just a silly rumor, I’m sure).