High energy prices have been a boon to Russia for years. Shrewdly, Vladimir Putin spent this mountain of cash solidifying his grip on power. He eliminated rivals, silenced critics, and propagated a cult of personality to create a millions-strong volunteer army of often violent devotees. In the minds of many Russians, l’etat c’est Vlad.
But with a massive oil glut from North America and OPEC, Russia’s economy is crashing. The ruble has been dropping for a week. To prop up the currency, the Russian central bank suddenly and surprisingly jacked up interest rates to no avail.More