Lists: Russia by the Numbers

 

The bear is restless again. But some fundamental realities haven't changed. Russia is startlingly poor compared to Germany and the United States – or, for that matter, South Korea or the Czech Republic. And it is startlingly dependent on windfalls from natural-resource sales to pay the bills. That’s not likely to change soon: thanks to corruption, horrible winters and lousy infrastructure, doing business is difficult. Meanwhile, income and wealth distribution are wildly unequal, with the consequences reflected in the wretched social stats.

The other reality that hasn't changed, alas, is the Kremlin's disinclination to play nice with its neighbors. And while the economic underpinnings of Russia's ability to project power beyond its borders are frail, they are more than adequate to allow it to cast a long shadow over Ukraine (and Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the Baltics). Plus ça change…

russia chart 2