Obeying orders from the top, Russian television has banned the use of words such as “crisis”, “decline” and “devaluation”. Coverage of the mayhem in the country’s stock market, where shares have fallen by 75 per cent since August, is scant.
Instead, just as in Soviet times, Russians are told how bad everything is in the West. The US, Russians are told, is in irreversible decline, while desperate Britons are throwing themselves into the Thames. The Queen, facing imminent penury, has been forced to pawn her diamonds and, according to one tabloid front page, we can no longer afford to bury our dead…
On November 4, Dmitry Medvedev, the protégé Mr Putin shoehorned into his old job as president in May, announced that he would seek a constitutional amendment extending the standard term of office from two consecutive terms of four years to two terms of six.
Posted in AP Russia | Comments Off on Russia’s crumbling economy provides stiffest test yet for autocratic leader