Over the past few years in Russia, two trends have started to converge: Russian funds are drying up very quickly while on the other hand, military spending is accelerating.
After almost two years in recession, the country’s rainy day fund has shrunk to just $32.2 billion this month, according to the Russian Finance Ministry. It was $91.7 billion in September 2014, just before oil prices started to collapse.
And it’s getting worse. Analysts expect the fund will shrink to just $15 billion by the end of this year and dry up completely soon after that.
“At the current rate, the fund would be depleted in mid-2017, perhaps a few months later,” Ondrej Schneider, chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, wrote in a note this week.
As if to ignore the alarming numbers, the second trend under Putin has become evident; defence spending has been steadily rising since 2011.
Ofcourse, there is only so much defence investment that can be sustained when the country is attempting to steer away from an impending debt crisis, and this observation continues to stoke the anxiety of many a financial observer.
By itself, this national financial predicament is nothing new to Russia, however under the helm of Putin – who has a history of nationalistic & militant behaviour – it suddenly becomes a serious risk to global peace. Here is why;
- Putin’s unsustainable polls.
Putin pays considerable attention to his popularity as indicated by the polls. The biggest spike in popularity occurred when Putin invaded Crimea, which he considers to be Russian heartland, along with the rest of Ukraine. As western analysts point out, popularity by conquest is not a sustainable approach to politics. As Russian funds deplete and military spending increases, Putin might be pressured to invade Ukraine or Turkey to maintain political popularity.
- Putin’s power is being internally challenged.
Over the last 12 months, analysts like STRATFOR and the Brookings institution have noticed that a dangerous feud is occurring amongst the Russian political elite. Putin is beginning to loose control as some of his closest allies are turning against him. For this reason, Putin has had to establish his own “praetorian guard“, and he is now looking to revive the former KGB as the existing FSB is increasingly challenging his interests. Read more here
- Putin’s ideologies.
Since 2012, Putin has been overtly reviving and supporting a number of Roman oriented philosophies and ideologies. They include such things as taking Constantinople, and giving it to “Christendom”. The unification of Catholicism with Orthodoxy, to be led by the Pope as the religious leader, and a Russian Emporer based in Constantinople on the Byzantine model. These ideologies suggest that Russian lands extend as far as Turkey, Egypt and even Israel, infact, some would suggest that Israel is not deserving of its own nation state. These ideologies are prevalent, particularly in the far right of Russian politics amongst the nationalists, and generally, the Russian people and the clergy are both looking for the realisation of these ideologies. Both Putin’s popularity and power is increasingly dependant on the realisation of these ideologies in Russia.
To students of prophecy, these things are not so surprising, and now that Israel is back in their own land (and has been since 1948) we expect Russia to attempt conquest in the Middle East to secure for itself a spoil.
On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.
Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”’
Ezekiel 38: 10-13