Paul R. Gregory's writings on Russia, the world economy, and other matters that he finds of interest.
Can Putin reconstitute (partially) the USSR? The governments of some of the post-Soviet states,are chronically corrupt. They mainly consist of the same old guards and their families who served in Moscow during the Soviet Era, e.g., governments of the 5 Central Asian Countries, a couple of countries in Southern Caucuses (exclude the Republic of Georgia), ...The rotten apples from the same old tree do not provided the bases for healthy orchards. Unhappy with what has befallen them, and helpless in changing for better, a large number of those living in these states yearn for the good old days(!), pay homage to Lenin's statue, revere Stalin, ...and look up to Moscow as the model state, and for prospective hand-outs (new-old subsidies, grand public infrastructures, public education, ...certainty) and opportunities. After the first decade of transition (through 2000), the west lost interest and suffered aid-fatigue in highlighting the way towards a western European life and governance throughout the FSU. During the last decade, the international aid agencies' "smart-government-aid approach" have entailed using cheap Russian 'experts' to spend dollars and euros "more efficiently" in the FSU. Since, there is no such a thing as a cheap (or surgical approach) in reform, inferior policy advice has only fostered a reversion to the old Russian-scientific logic(!), Russian-models, Russian-analysis, Russian-management, and Russian - way of doing business! Providing hand-outs and report-worthy aid (nutrition) replaced long-term institutional building. Taking picture while handing a certain fish is more news worthy than teaching how to fish. Defining success as the number of beans per USD or euro is a hollow way of defining true reform.