Rereading my recent Moscow Times columns, I find that their negative tone conveys a wrong impression. Actually, I believe that the decade since Vladimir Putin became prime minister has been Russia’s Golden Age. I’m eager to set the record straight — not only because it is August, often a calamitous month in Russia, but also because troubling signs, ranging from the worsening economic crisis to increasingly brazen political murders, are multiplying.
Over the past 10 years, Russia has prospered. Consumers have not had as wide a choice of goods and services — which they can also afford to buy — since 1913. Oil wealth may not have been divided equitably or used rationally, but money has trickled down, at least in Moscow.
17 August 2009
The Moscow Times