It is hard to believe that over a month has passed since the Neo-Tsar, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, announced the start of a “special military operation” in Ukraine, aimed at “demilitarisation and de-Nazification” of the country. Everything has changed, in ways that will be discussed and debated for years to come. The world order that we had all lived under, has turned very nearly upside down in the space of just a month.
Throughout it all, the Neo-Tsar has maintained course, refusing to bend or break in the face of a truly staggering push by the Empire of Lies to depose him and destroy his country. We have witnessed his country sanctioned like no other in history. Russians have been cancelled left and right, with sometimes dire consequences for Russian expatriate children in other countries. Law-abiding Russians have seen their shops vandalised, their businesses shut down, their employment contracts terminated, and their hopes and dreams shattered. Elite, world-beating athletes have been banned from competing.
And why? Because they are Russian. And because their ruler, their Tsar, has ordered Russian troops to invade a country that most Russians consider to be a sister nation to their own.
For most men, this sort of sequence of events would destroy them. Vladimir Putin is assuredly not most men.
Indeed, I believe that, when the dust settles after all of this is over, Vladimir Putin will be remembered as one of the greatest god-kings in Russian history.
That’s right – I honestly believe that he will likely sit in the hearts of the Russian people alongside Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Ivan the Terrible (whose reputation was probably a bit overblown, actually). He may even be regarded in the same light as his predecessor by name – Grand Prince Vladimir I of Kiev, the man who brought Christianity to Russia.
Some Clarification Required
Now, let us be extremely clear from the outset about one very important fact: just because Putin is a great man, that categorically does not mean that he is a good man.
I am no Putin apologist or fanboy. While I greatly respect the Neo-Tsar (obviously), I know him to be a very cold and exceptionally dangerous character. He IS a thug – albeit an extremely intelligent, cunning, capable, and talented one. Putin is not warm or gregarious in the manner of St. Reagan of the Right – he does not make you feel good and happy simply by watching him speak. He is cold, calculating, cunning, and genuinely scary in some ways.
He is rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Some analysts argue that he is the richest man on Earth, BY FAR, because he may own substantial stakes in Russia’s biggest energy companies. Like most powerful Russian rulers, he has kept mistresses in the past, was not faithful to his wife, and has a habit of rewarding his closest advisers and friends with plush contracts and great riches. Apparently, his floating gin-palace, Scheherezade, is worth something like US$700M – I mean, I’ve seen some serious superyachts in my time, to include last summer when I saw two big-ass boats parked in Port Vell, Barcelona, but that takes it to a whole new level.
None of this changes the fact that he is a great leader and a supremely talented statesman.
Putin is, in fact, a moderate conservative, albeit not one that an American “conservative” might recognise. He is a Christian who worships every Sunday at an Orthodox church – precisely how sincere his faith is, though, is very much between him and God.
In many ways, then, Putin is emblematic of the country that he represents. He, like Russia, is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”, as Lord Winston Churchill once put it. He is a man of seemingly endless contradictions and vagaries, yet his core identity has never, ever been in doubt or questioned.
Quite simply, he governs his country as an autocrat who has vastly enriched himself off the backs of his people – and yet, he also provides his people with peace, stability, security, and autonomy. That is the core reality of modern Russia. It is a country riven by many serious problems, and yet, in many ways, it is still a far healthier country than any in the so-called “neo-liberal” Western world.
In my view, just as Lee Kuan Yew was perhaps the greatest statesman of the 20th Century (though I would dispute that characterisation, since I think that Ronald Reagan deserves that title), I reckon that the Neo-Tsar will be remembered as perhaps the greatest statesman of the 21st.
A Summary of Recent Events
Most people don’t realise just how broken Russia really was after the end of the Cold War. When the Iron Curtain finally collapsed in 1991, and the Evil Empire went to its long-overdue and unmourned grave, the Russians initially rapidly embraced Western free-market capitalism. Unfortunately, because Yeltsin was essentially a drunken fool and a tool of the global Deep State – which, even then, had begun to assert itself over world affairs – he permitted a number of Western and Russian neo-liberal advisers to make some spectacularly terrible decisions.
One of those advisers was Anatoly Chubais, the man who oversaw the rapid sale of state-owned assets into private hands. From a Western perspective, economic “shock therapy” was a very Good Thing. But from the point of view of ordinary Russians, it was an unmitigated disaster that inflicted tremendous suffering and hardship upon them.
Chubais did not perform economic privatisation in a sensible way – that much is clear with 30 years of hindsight, but it was obvious even back then. I remember reading a book by Joseph Stiglitz, a Sverigesbank Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics, on the subject all the way back in like 2003 (I’m not kidding when I say I’m older than dirt), in which he pointed out that Russian liberalisation happened in a vacuum. Russia didn’t have the necessary institutions required to protect consumers and retail customers.
(Keep in mind that Stiglitz is very much a man of the Left, and believes in big globalist organisations and government intervention in market economies. The fact that he, along with Paul Krugman, is a “Nobel Prize” winner, should tell you quite a lot about how much the Sverigesbank Memorial Prize is actually worth.)
Instead, the way that Chubais managed things was to put a nominal $1 value on every share of the state-owned enterprises that made the Soviet economy run, back in the day. He then permitted these to be sold on the open market.
Think about this carefully for a moment. Do you have any idea how much Russia’s oil and gas reserves are worth? The amount is in the TRILLIONS. Yet, the GSEs that extracted that stuff out of the ground, processed and refined it, and shipped it everywhere around Russia and elsewhere, were valued at literal PENNIES on the dollar.
The results were predictable, and heartbreaking. The Russian people saw their most treasured assets snapped up by Jewish oligarchs, who became FILTHY rich overnight and absolutely raped the economy of the country. Millions of people were left impoverished. The value of the ruble cratered. Russia defaulted on its debts and rampant inflation and mass unemployment hit simultaneously. (This, by the way, is another thing that “Nobel Prize” laureates in Economics used to maintain could not happen.)
Put simply, the once-proud nation of Russia was broken, beaten, and hopeless.
(By the way, all you have to do is read Chubais’s biography and recent history to realise that he was always a tool of the Globalists, from the very beginning. This is the same Chubais who has now effectively been booted out of any formal role in Russia’s government and went into self-imposed exile in Turkey, apparently. The Neo-Tsar permits neo-liberal Western-linked advisers, as long as they do not threaten him – but he is ruthless about getting rid of them once they are no longer useful.)
The Man from Leningrad
To add to all of this humiliation and degradation, the Russian people had to watch as a corrupt kleptocracy happily got away with sometimes literal murder, driving around Moscow and living large, while the majority of people struggled just to make ends meet.
Then there was the issue of domestic instability. The Chechens are a rough, tough, nasty bunch of Muslims living in the Caucasus, bordering Georgia, and back in the day, they wanted their own independent country. The Russians couldn’t let a hostile Muslim power into that area, sitting as it does right in an area of strategic importance between the Black Sea and the Caspian, acting as a buffer between Russia and potentially hostile nations to the south. Repeated acts of Islamic terrorism against Russia resulted in the disastrous and very bloody First Chechen War, which Russia LOST, horribly.
And that was before we got to the external situation. In 1999, Russia, historically the protector of the Slavic people and the Orthodox faith in Europe, could only sit on the sidelines and watch as American bombs fell on Belgrade, as NATO went to war against Christian Serbs to defend Muslim Kosovars.
Into this background of economic collapse, diplomatic and military humiliation, and deep discontent, stepped a former KGB officer named Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – a black belt in judo, a fluent German speaker, and a streetwise, extremely intelligent, highly ambitious, keenly focused young man from Leningrad. His years in the KGB had given him bureaucratic infighting skills second to none, and an intimate understanding of how to hold and wield true power.
When Putin became Prime Minister of Russia, he swiftly set about the business of subduing the Chechens – hence the Second Chechen War, in which he ordered the Russian army to encircle Grozny, evacuate the civilians, and then reduce much of the city to rubble – and stabilising the economy. He made a deal with the oligarchs that they came to regret, deeply, when he turned around and hounded them out of the country. And he began to consolidate his administration around the idea of Russia as an internationally respected, independent, generally politically neutral power that simply wanted to pursue its own interests.
The Abortive Western Pivot
Initially, Putin tried to maintain Russia’s tradition of being a Western power. This has been true since the days of Peter the Great, who deliberately moved the Russian capital to St. Petersburg – the city that he founded near the shores of the Baltic – right down to the present time. Over 110 million of Russia’s 143 million or so citizens live in the western third of the country – a full 16 million of them in and around Moscow, and another 8 million in and around St. Petersburg. Russia IS a European power, and has been for hundreds of years.
VVP tried to continue this tradition by engaging with what he repeatedly called Russia’s Western “partners” – France, Germany, and the other continental European nations, the United Kingdom, and the USA. He played a difficult and deliberate balancing act of keeping Russia out of international conflicts while insisting on respect for Russia’s sovereignty.
For his troubles, the Western powers repaid him with opprobrium and hatred, persistently expanding NATO eastwards, sanctioning Russia, and embarking on damned fool Syracuse Expeditions in Russia’s back yard, repeating exactly the same mistakes that drove the Soviet Union to its knees in the 1980s.
Simply because Putin tried to keep Russia strong, free, and independent, the Western powers tried to turn him and his country into an international pariah. Yet, for twenty years, Russia under Putin tried everything it could in order to accommodate the West and act as a reliable and trustworthy partner and seller of goods.
And NONE of it worked. Russia was still disrespected and ostracised, especially after the Neo-Tsar insisted – quite rightly, as it turned out – on keeping Russia out of America’s damnably foolish Iraqi misadventure. America, the EU, and NATO simply would not leave well enough alone.
Things really came to a head in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea on March 18. A substantial majority of the people voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia – the Russians argue that it was as high as 95%, while Western observers cried foul and claimed that it was a rigged election. (Given the track record of Western elections, particularly the 2020 Fake Election in the USSA, this accusation is LAUGHABLY stupid.)
That was when the Western sanctions regime really took off. Russia began to understand exactly how much the Western elites loathe and fear their country. And it was then that the Neo-Tsar evidently finally understood that he needed to look to the east, not the west, for Russia’s security and future.
That is when the Russians began rapidly building out their capabilities in multiple areas, starting with banking and high technology. And today we see the results.
Here is the first lesson to learn from the Russian situation: sanctions DO NOT WORK against countries with healthy balance sheets. The Neo-Tsar has always been very careful to make sure that Russia spends well within her means. That is why Russia’s debt-to-GDP ratio has consistently been below 30% for the past 10 years, and why Russia’s ability to service its debt has never been in question since 2000. In fact, Russia’s financial position was strong enough that it could afford to pay off the entire outstanding debt of most of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine’s.
Moreover, sanctions only really force people to adapt, react, and overcome. And, most importantly, it forces them to discover what strength they actually have.
And Russia’s greatest strength is, and has always been, its immense wealth of natural resources.
Directed Energy Weapons
That is why, in the current crisis, the Neo-Tsar FINALLY started to use Russian energy as a weapon. When he announced a few days ago that Russia would only accept payments for oil and gas in rubles, he executed a tactical master-stroke.
Up until that point, the Russian ruble had been badly damaged by Western sanctions. It had plunged from 68-70 to the greenback, down as low as 140 – a catastrophic loss of value that severely threatened the livelihoods of millions of Russians.
But, by insisting that “unfriendly nations” would now have to pay for oil and gas in rubles, the Neo-Tsar had executed an economic encirclement against his country’s enemies, just as his generals and commanders were busy executing military encirclements against the Ukies.
To state the blindingly obvious, Russia is really the only place to get rubles – most countries and people don’t hold rubles, unless you go to the FSU states. So, if you want to pay in rubles, you have to go buy rubles from the Russians – to pay them for their own oil and natural gas, which you ALSO have to buy from them.
The precise nature of the scheme has now become clear, and it isn’t actually all that revolutionary. Essentially, foreign companies that buy gas from Russia will have to open up accounts at GazpromBank, deposit USD and EUR and GBP there, and then the Russians will convert that to rubles at the relevant equivalent rates with the Bank of Russia (their central bank). They will then release the necessary gas as per their contracts.
This is basically what you do when you send a wire transfer in a foreign currency. You send your native currency to your recipient’s bank. It settles in that account in that currency. The bank converts it to your recipient’s currency according to some exchange rate – ALWAYS ripping you off in the process. And your recipient gets some amount of money, minus the fees and spreads.
The key here is that your recipient’s bank can either receive your funds in a bank branch in YOUR country, or can settle those funds in an account in ITS OWN country. If it does the latter, then ONLY its own government can take away those funds – YOURS can’t touch them.
Now you understand why this is such a great idea. Think about what this does. It essentially restores Russian reserves very quickly, because those ForEx reserves were previously parked in Western banks and have now been confiscated. But now, the Euroweenies will have to deposit funds directly in Russian accounts, in EUR and USD and GBP, which will rapidly restore Russia’s lost reserves.
The Russians have figured out, in one stroke, how to rebuild roughly half their reserves that were stolen by the West – amounting to like US$300B – and at the same time, how to force the West to yield to their terms.
This is genius-level strategy.
The New Reserve Currency
Look at what the Neo-Tsar has now achieved. The ruble is now, effectively, a commodity-backed hard currency. And there is more of this to come. The ruble is also now definitively moving to a gold-backed currency, as the Russians are looking to buy up gold at a floor price of 5,000 RUB per gram – which would stabilise the ruble at roughly 80 per USD, which is precisely where the ruble has been heading for days now.
And when the ruble becomes fully convertible for gold, the days of the fickle, fiat-backed US dollar’s hegemony are well and truly OVER.
Imagine investing in Russian bonds, offering 20% coupons, with a currency backed in gold and commodities, from a country that is the world’s largest producer of natural gas, the third largest producer of oil, the largest producer of wheat, and a producer of some of the best and most effective military and technological hardware anywhere in the world. You are buying stable, high-quality debt at amazing high rates of interest that the West cannot match, without the default risk associated with Western nations. (Note, though, that those 20% or higher coupons won’t last. Russia’s interest rates are artificially high and will fall over time.)
This alone would be enough to ensure VVP’s legacy as one of Russia’s greatest ever statesmen. But he has done far more than that. By deliberately pursuing a policy of economic autarky, he has made Russians find ways to innovate, and in the process, they are now economically largely independent of most of the world – not completely, but enough to be able to manage on their own even when global supply lines are severely disrupted.
The Russians know how to maintain a product-based economy rooted in domestic consumption. I was there during the height of the Kung Flu madness. I know that the Russians never really ran out of anything – except maybe toilet paper. Supermarket shelves rarely went bare, and meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and bread were widely available. Prices didn’t jump too much. People suffered and times were hard, but by the summer, the worst was over, and eventually the Russians began to thrive, as they always do when the sun comes out and the snows melt.
On top of that, the Russians know how to operate on a budget to build effective and useful things. Today, the Russian military, in particular, is able to operate on a budget one-TWENTIETH the size of America’s. (If you count it all up, the Americans spend about a TRILLION DOLLARS on their paper-tiger-soaked-in-battery-acid of a military.) Unlike American weapons systems, which ARE effective – let’s give them their due – but hugely over-engineered, the Russians build their weapons to be simple, efficient, and robust in actual combat. As a result, their weapons systems are considerably cheaper than the American equivalents, and substantially more cost-effective.
All of this has taken place against a backdrop of careful strategic manoeuvring by the Russians, to make their economy substantially more resilient, and to turn their energy resources into a real weapon. And the Neo-Tsar is the principal architect of this strategy.
You can see the results in the charts and graphs that I sourced above in the slideshow. As you flip through it, you will see that:
- Russia’s share of debt-to-GDP is under 20% – well under, in fact – which means that sanctions cannot harm it substantially, as it is not a highly leveraged economy like the USA, Japan, or even China;
- Russia is now, depending on how you count, either the second or third largest oil exporter in the world, and that is despite the fact that its crude is heavy sour, which is to say, high in sulphur content and therefore more expensive to “crack” and refine into various products like gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and heating oil;
- Beyond that, Russia is by far the world’s leading producer and exporter of natural gas;
- The bottom left chart shows that Europe depends desperately on Russian natural gas, to the point where the continent’s largest economies require anywhere between 24% (France) and 50% (Germany) of their natural gas from Russia;
- This combination of factors has led to NOSEBLEED prices for natural gas – prices that have never been seen in the entire trading history of the commodity;
- And, inevitably, the stupid, completely over-the-top sanctions against Russia and its energy products have led to soaring oil prices;
Curiously, though, the Russians actually don’t rely on energy for anything like as much of their economy as they used to. These days, the percentage of oil and gas as a share of Russia’s total GDP – and their economy is about the size of Italy’s, at about US$1.7T – is only about 15%. It used to be over FIFTY percent, 20 years ago.
Do you see the beauty of the strategy? The Neo-Tsar systematically reduced Russia’s own dependence on energy exports, even as its European “partners” rapidly increased their dependence on Russian energy, precisely BECAUSE they insisted on going all-in for idiotic “green” energy boondoggles.
Instead, Russia has accelerated its transition to autarky, a state of economic affairs in which a nation becomes largely self-sufficient. And it is now the world’s largest exporter of wheat and one of the world’s largest producers of foodstuffs.
Give Me a Long Enough Lever…
All of this leads to an economy that is, in all honesty, quite undervalued and underappreciated by the West – it is an economic engine that could, under the right circumstances, shake the entire world.
I’ll give you an interesting example, which I know a lot about personally due to one of my projects. Lookup a company called Associated British Foods. This company, which you have almost surely never heard of, has a market capitalisation of like US$17B. It is a highly decentralised conglomerate, similar to Berkshire Hathaway, that contains within its umbrella a truly staggering array of products that you almost certainly use and have heard of.
They have a great deal of success in the British, American, and European markets – but they have a very tough time in the Russian market, except for their tea and food brands. And do you know why?
Because of a Russian company called RosAgro, 70% owned by a possible gangster and definite hardass by the name of Vadim Moshkovich, which basically owns the markets for Russian sugar, wheat (therefore bread), soy, pork, and a wide variety of other products.
That company has a true value of probably US$10-15B. I know, because I built some of the discounted cash flow valuation models for their company. It currently trades at a market cap of about US$1.7B or so.
That is symptomatic of what Russian companies are like these days. Amazon, which is an utter juggernaut in most of the West, struggles mightily in Russia – because Wildberries and Ozon, which are Russian companies, eat its lunch there. Google has a lot of market power in Russia due to its Android mobile operating system, which dominates the Russian market – yet Yandex, the homegrown Russian version of Google, gets roughly 60% of the Russian share of search requests, with Google a very distant second at about 38%.
If you take a look at most Russian publicly traded companies, and you run the numbers, I suspect that you will find that many of them are undervalued by anywhere between 30-70%. This gives you some rough idea of just how much growth potential the Russian economy actually has.
All of this has happened under the aegis of the Neo-Tsar. While he cannot take credit for creating those companies and innovations, he can take credit for creating the environment in which those companies could survive and thrive.
Before we get too far into hagiography here, let us remember that Russia has some HUGE problems, which even the Neo-Tsar has been unable to repair.
The Russian total fertility rate (TFR) is dangerously low, at about 1.5 children per woman. This is far too little. The country needs far more births and women need to be given incentives to stay at home, get married, have lots of kids, and raise them right. Yet Russia has one of the highest divorce rates in the entire world. Their men die far younger than their women do, and they have a very skewed gender ratio, particularly in the east of the country.
A Hungary-style set of population-expanding measures would be best. Yet such policies do not seem to have made much of a difference – though perhaps that is because they haven’t gone far enough. The Neo-Tsar seeks to fix this problem by making it much easier for Russian speakers from FSU nations to emigrate to Russia, but this is NOT a long-term solution.
Corruption is also a major problem in Russia, though it is nowhere near as bad as it is in the USA. I am not being facetious here. In Russia, corruption is just sort of in your face and normal, and imposes perhaps an additional 10-15% cost to doing business – it’s like an added tax that you just know you have to pay. This is assuredly not a Good Thing. But it is not the end of the world, either.
In the USA, however, the corruption is insidious, hidden, and far more toxic. Regulations strangle businesses, while the bureaucrats who make those regulations, engineer them in such a way as to benefit themselves and their patrons, at your expense.
In Russia, by contrast, you just know that you sometimes have to pay off someone to forge a document or three for you. And it’s just not that big a deal.
Furthermore, we do not know what will happen when Putin finally steps down, retires, or dies. Who will succeed him? We just don’t know. All that I can say for certain is that whoever replaces Putin will NOT be a moderate. Most Western observers looking at Russia from the outside, simply do not understand that Putin is actually a moderate among Russians. The hardliners in Russia genuinely HATE America. They HATE the secular Jews who run the neoclown shit-show in the USSA these days. And they will not hesitate to go to war – actual war, complete with actual Kindzhal and Tsirkon strikes against Paris, Berlin, London, and maybe even Washington, D.C. – with the Empire of Lies.
And we must note that this war with Ukraine could very easily go sideways. If it turns into a long and brutal war of attrition, and results in thousands of dead Russian boys going home in body bags and coffins, then popular support for the Neo-Tsar WILL wither and die.
Time will tell whether the Neo-Tsar’s strategy in Ukraine will work. So far, it IS working, and has resulted in an overwhelmingly successful military campaign that deserves careful study for decades to come. But we just don’t know how things will turn out.
Conclusion – the Great Prince of Russia
Ultimately, though, I believe that Russia will come out of this crisis far stronger than it went in. Russia’s enemies have revealed themselves clearly. Under the Neo-Tsar, Russia has outright rejected the GloboHomoPaedo Satanry of the “rules-based world order”, and will clearly go its own way. The Russian government has structured itself in such a way as to ensure stability, continuity, and relatively low levels of interference – and, most importantly, seeks to assert a clear and uncompromising sense of national identity and purpose.
These are all Very Good Things. I believe that, because of his foresight, strategic brilliance, wisdom, and moderation, the Neo-Tsar will one day be remembered as one of the greatest rulers in Russian history – if not the greatest. And I genuinely believe that he will be regarded as the greatest statesman of the 21st Century.
All of this depends on how the war in Ukraine turns out. But everything that we are seeing right now, indicates that the Neo-Tsar fully understands the nature of the conflict that he has embarked upon, has accepted the costs of it, and will see it through to the bitter end. And it will almost certainly end with the accelerated collapse of the Empire of Lies.
Already, the USSA and the EUSSR are failing to keep up the illusions of prosperity and strength that sustained them. Infrastructure and production in both regions are falling apart as financialisation and speculation replace production and work. And the emergence of a clear, commodity-backed, sensibly managed currency, compared especially against the rapidly deflating greenback, will only speed up that final death-plunge.
For now, let us sit back and watch as the Neo-Tsar does the grim task that the Lord has set before him. I do not envy him this work, but if there is one man that can do what God demands of him, it is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.