Back to the Technological Middle Ages: Russia and its Cold War 2.0


After the start of the war in Ukraine, one Western company after another leaves Russia and thus becomes isolated. Is Russia awaiting Cold War 2.0? And what does this mean for its technology? And what does this mean for the rest of the world?

Russia is a large and resource-rich country, but it is also neglected, and because it is essentially an oriental despot, it is very difficult for real business there. As a result, it looks the way it looks: A more or less permanent brain drain that never stopped, a life expectancy ten years lower than in the West.

The whole 20th century was pretty mushrooming, the Russo-Japanese War began, then the First World War, then the Revolution, the Civil War, the Glodomor, the reprisals, the Second World War, the Cold War, and then the disintegration. As a result, it is the area of ​​the largest country, but my population is less than Bangladesh, GDP less than Canada and GDP per capita is six times smaller than the United States.

It also has a unique set of problems, because being a large country and having a relatively small population means that you have to take care of remote areas so that no one blows them up for you. Russia has long been trying to move its population to its southern border because they have a latent problem with half-empty Siberia. Under Tsarist Russia, they controlled the belt around the Baikal-Amur highway under construction with poverty, and even today the tribes in the wild live there essentially separate from the world.

Today, who laughs at the sale of Russian America or Alaska to the United States in 1867 for $ 7.2 million (about $ 115 million in today’s prices). But the thing is, Alaska was effectively unmanageable for Tsarist Russia, the letter went there for more than half a year – and with a total population of several thousand, they were in danger of simply taking Britain from Canada. By the way, a lot of Americans disagreed with the purchase of Alaska, Alaska was called “Seward’s Fridge”, and opinion changed with the gold rush of 1896.

Basically, it cannot be said that the people of Russia have ever experienced a classical democracy, they are mostly replaced by weaker and stronger rulers, and from time to time they get rid of old elites to form new ones. This is, of a kind, a modus operandi in oriental despots, where the central ruler needs to cut the wings of the locals regularly so that they do not grow over his head. Sanctions help the central government rather than harm them.

Western companies are withdrawing from Russia, often writing off significant investments. They do not do this in part voluntarily, but there is basically no alternative: While until recently Western politicians perceived Russia mainly as a storehouse of raw materials, it has now shaken the imperial tradition and the West does not intend to support it.


Source: Pctuning – Všechen obsah by pctuning.cz.

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