Voices from Russia

Saturday, 11 October 2014

China Surpasses USA as World’s Largest Economy Based On GDP/PPP

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. Championship Title Race for the Biggest Economy in the World. 2014


International Monetary Fund estimates show that China surpassed the USA in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), becoming the largest in the world by this measure. FT reported citing IMF data that in 2014, China had 17.6 trillion USD (711 trillion Roubles. 108 trillion Renminbi. 1.08 quadrillion INR. 19.72 trillion CAD. 20.27 trillion AUD. 13.94 trillion Euros. 10.95 trillion UK Pounds) or 16.48 percent of the world’s PPP-adjusted GDP, while the USA had slightly less, 16.28 percent or $17.4 trillion USD (703 trillion Roubles. 107 trillion Renminbi. 1.07 quadrillion INR. 19.49 trillion CAD. 20.04 trillion AUD. 13.79 trillion Euros. 10.83 trillion UK Pounds). PPP is the best way to compare the size of economies and not using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services. Thus, a trillion US dollars (40.4 trillion Roubles. 6.13 trillion Renminbi. 61.3 trillion INR. 1.12 trillion CAD. 1.15 trillion AUD. 792 billion Euros. 622 billion UK Pounds) are worth a lot more in China than in the USA. The IMF forecast stated that, on a PPP-basis, China is overtaking the USA right about now, becoming the world’s biggest economy. The USA has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Previously, most economists thought China would pull ahead in 2019. According to IMF estimates, in 2015 the gap between China and the USA will increase to almost a trillion USD… Chinese GDP/PPP will amount to 19.23 trillion USD (777 trillion Roubles. 118 trillion Renminbi. 1.18 quadrillion INR. 21.54 trillion CAD. 22.14 trillion AUD. 15.23 trillion Euros. 11.96 trillion UK Pounds) against 18.286 trillion USD (739 trillion Roubles. 112 trillion Renminbi. 1.12 quadrillion INR. 20.49 trillion CAD. 21.05 trillion AUD. 14.49 trillion Euros. 11.38 trillion UK Pounds) in the USA. However, in terms of nominal GDP, the USA remains the undisputed world leader with 16.8 trillion USD (679 trillion Roubles. 103 trillion Renminbi. 1.03 quadrillion INR. 18.82 trillion CAD. 19.35 trillion AUD. 13.31 trillion Euros. 10.46 trillion UK Pounds) in output, significantly outpacing China with 10.4 trillion USD (421 trillion Roubles. 63.8 trillion Renminbi. 638 trillion INR. 11.65 trillion CAD. 11.98 trillion AUD. 8.24 trillion Euros. 6.47 trillion UK Pounds).

 8 October 2014



Friday, 29 August 2014

Ukrainian Economy Unravelling

00 ukrainian grynia. 23.03.14


The Ukraine is going through a perfect economic storm. Ravaged by civil war, left with no parliament, and led by a self-styled “kamikaze government”, the country is on the verge of a full-fledged economic disaster. Obviously, the Ukrainian economic crisis is self-inflicted, despite the government’s attempts to blame Russia’s allegedly hostile actions and the lack of Western help. According to estimates made by Ukrainian “Prime Minister” Yatsenyuk in April, the Ukraine needs at least 35 billion USD (1.29 trillion Roubles. 216 billion Renminbi. 2.12 trillion INR. 38 billion CAD. 37.4 billion AUD. 26.6 billion Euros. 21.1 billion UK Pounds) to keep the economy afloat until the end of 2014. The total sum of credit obtained so far from the IMF, the EU, and the World Bank is less than five billion USD (184 billion Roubles. 31 billion Renminbi. 303 billion INR. 5.43 billion CAD. 5.35 billion AUD. 3.8 billion Euros. 3 billion UK Pounds). It hasn’t yet received the IMF’s second tranche of a promised 17 billion USD (625 billion Roubles. 105 billion Renminbi. 1.03 trillion INR. 18.5 billion CAD. 18.2 trillion AUD. 12.9 billion Euros. 10.3 billion UK Pounds) loan, despite the fact that it was due in June. Given that the IMF made subsequent tranches contingent upon Kiev’s ability to regain control of Novorossiya, it’s likely that the Ukraine won’t get some or all the remaining tranches.

“President” Poroshenko worsened the situation with his decision to sign an EU Association Treaty, which resulted in a flurry of Russian measures enacted to protect the Russian market from the re-export of European goods through the Ukraine. This locked Ukrainian business out of the Russian market, which was its top export destination; yet, at the same time, it’s unable to penetrate the oversaturated European market in a meaningful way. Kiev received repeated warnings about this scenario, but Poroshenko made the stunningly unwise choice of ignoring Russian concerns and warnings. Now, the economy is suffocating, and faces a serious currency crisis. The Grivna is trading at around 13.89 Grivna/1 USD (having traded at about 8 Grivna/1 USD in the years following the 2008 economic crisis), causing investors to flee. On 22 August, Fitch Ratings downgraded local-currency-denominated Ukrainian debt to its lowest possible level (CCC). According to finance.ua, Yatsenyuk recently stated, “The Ukrainian economy can’t handle an exchange rate higher than 12 Grivna per dollar”. The exchange rate is 15 percent higher than its critical level and shows no signs of returning to previous levels. The central bank can’t use market interventions to prop up the Grivna because it has almost no hard currency left; a significant part of its currency reserves are in illiquid government bonds. The currency is collapsing and this is visible to everyone. Political analyst Mark Sleboda put it best in a scathing tweet:

#Ukraine currency, economy collapsing fast, nothing at all it can do to stop it (apart from begging #Russia)


On top of the currency crisis, there’s an energy crisis brewing. Last week, the government announced its intention to import coal, once considered a staple of the Ukrainian industrial economy, from Australia because its mines in Novorossiya are unusable. It depends on Russian gas and coal from its former eastern regions; now, it has neither. A week ago, the Cabinet outlined a procedure for declaring a state of emergency in the energy sector, so, blackouts are becoming more and more likely. It’ll be a long, cold, and probably dark autumn and winter for Kiev. Judging by its previous actions, the West won’t come to rescue the Ukraine from its economic misery.

28 August 2014

Stanislav Fisher

Rossiya Segodnya


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Cost of Living in the Ukraine Shot Up… Where’s the Fun?

empty pockets no money


Prices in the Ukraine continue to shoot up. It’s all becoming more expensive, not only food and goods, but also public utilities rates and other services. That is, the people’s standard of living continues to fall. The IMF stated that in the first seven months of 2014, cumulative inflation exceeded 12 percent, and by the end of the year at this rate, the index might exceed 16 percent. These are official figures; real inflation is much higher. Gas prices went up, but even with the increase, urban residents have no hot water, and the chances are that when winter begins, there’ll be a cutback in gas for heating. Therefore, industry and the service sector face falling sales, so, in a few months, we’ll probably see a wave of bankruptcies and unemployment would rise. The unemployment rate this year may exceed 10 percent, although the government doesn’t consider it critical. Nevertheless, the trend is disturbing. The cost of living is going up, and this is true of virtually everything. For instance, most insurers raised their rates by 20-30 percent, as the volume of premiums collected was less due to businesses closing in a number of regions. In general, one can expect insurance rates to go up by 30-50 percent this year.

All of this is taking place as part of the signing of the European integration and assistance from the IMF. Economic benefits, except for possible trade with Europe, are very vague, but apparently, no one wants to point up the negative effects, even though they’re obvious. In fact, such changes involve lowering the standard of living for the sake of illusory prospects of a “European” living standard in 10-30 years. However, no one has yet seen an example of successful integration into the EU. On the other hand, the junta is kowtowing to the requirements of the IMF, and this means they’re reducing the social budget and increasing the tax burden. The junta intends to reduce the budget primarily through slashing social programmes, and it intends to lay a more onerous tax burden on ordinary citizens and small and medium-sized businesses. The economic crisis has only just begun, and we can’t expect a stabilisation in general in the short-term. In this regard, what will happen in 2015, when the gas reserves will be gone, and the IMF and the EU will demand further austerity measures of the junta?

19 August 2014

Russkaya Vesna



Note well that the first thing that the junta did was to smash its boot into the faces of working class people without pity as they slashed pensions 50 percent. The junta members aren’t as corrupt as V F Yanukovich was… they’re MORE corrupt than he was! They’re all liars in the American crapitalist mode, which is why the American neocons love them. In short, they intend stealing the Ukraine blind for the benefit of the American greedster class, and they expect a “cut” as middlemen. Their motto is, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing”… which is the Anglo American motto. It’s why the USA is supporting them… besides lusting to rape the Ukraine for the Koch brothers’ benefit. However, I believe that ordinary Ukrainians are already tired of “austerity”, the terrible bloodletting in Novorossiya (much worse than the media reports, but the public gets the word anyway (mostly, from the many deserters)), and the unbridled greed and thievery of the junta (“Rabbit” Yatsenyuk is the worst, followed by Turdchinov and Avakov… Yuliya is lying low… what does she know that we don’t?). The last 23 years have been a continuing Khokhol joke, but ever since the coup it’s moved from mere incompetence to a surreal disconnection from reality. God do help the poor folks in Novorossiya, Malorossiya, the Lvovshchina, and Podkarpatskaya Rus.

I expect a countercoup… or a Svoboda putsch. It does bid fair to be “interesting”… and I do agree with the Chinese, “interesting” times are hell on ordinary folks…


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Kiev Provokes War to Try to Avoid Revolution

00 Winter 2015. Those Moskali aren't Freezing! 26.06.14

Winter 2015: Those Moskali aren’t Freezing!

Aleksandr Shabunov


Literally: “They’re not freezing, those Moskali!”


In recent days, despite its peace “announcement”, official Kiev gradually moved from violence against civilians and bombardments of Donbass cities to direct provocations on the Russian border and attacks on the Russian Federation’s diplomatic missions. In international affairs, such actions constitute provocation to war. Yet, Kiev doesn’t have the slightest chance of winning a military conflict with Russia. What pushes P A Poroshenko to such adventuring?

Whilst the Kiev junta wages war against its own people in the Southeast, protests swell across the country due to a catastrophic drop in living standards. From 1 July, all utility services will see an increase in rates. In particular, the price of gas for consumers will rise 55-70 percent, hot water and heating will rise 40 percent, electricity will rise 10-40 percent depending on the volume of usage, and central water and sewerage will rise 78-96 percent. The greatest increases will come in Kiev. On 1 July, hot water will rise by nearly 70 percent and for central heating will go up almost 60 percent.  This is only the first stage of price increases for utilities, which will gradually go up until 2017. According to O N Kaletnik, the First Deputy Head of the Verkhovnaya Rada Budget Committee, in 2015 utility rates will go up 40 percent, and 20 percent per year in 2016 and 2017. However, these figures may be bogus, because as of 1 May 2014, consumers paid, for example, only 24 percent of the real cost of electricity.

At the same time, the IMF requires an increase in residential utility rates “to economic levels”, that is, the total elimination of state subsidies for public utilities. If the total debt of Kiev’s population, the Ukraine’s richest city, is now close to 80 million USD (2.7 billion Roubles. 85.8 million CAD. 85.1 million AUD. 58.7 million Euros. 47.1 million UK Pounds), the new rates would be completely impossible for Ukrainians to pay. This is a real disaster as it threatens all life support systems. You can estimate its size by the fact that, even now, before the rate increase, “Kievenergo” shut off hot water in 754 apartment buildings due to arrears in bills, and it started to switch off lighting in the Pechersky, Goloseyevsky, and Shevchenko Raions of the city.

Meanwhile, winter approaches. Because of threatened termination of Russian gas deliveries, the junta introduced emergency energy policies, which may in fact lead to frozen apartment buildings and hospitals. However, that’s not all. Due to the grivnya’s depreciation and the domestic agricultural crisis, some products have more than doubled in price, and drugs are up by 60-70 percent. Minister of Finance A V Shlapak officially admits that these figures are true. In fact, consumers are seeing some imported drugs rise in price by 200-300 percent. Along with this, “Prime Minister” A P Yatsenyuk‘s  “government” froze the minimum wage and cut cost-of-living indexing. The Razumkov Research Centre concluded, “The freeze in wage increases, pensions, and social benefits due to the fact that the Ukrainian economy has crashed. We observed a decline in industry and in other areas … In such a situation, neither the Ukrainian economy nor the state budget has the resources to raise salaries to a level to support minimal living standards. This year, we see a decline in real income and real wages, which creates additional social problems in the country”.

Moreover, the junta doesn’t deny persistent rumours about the removal of all salary increments to government employees and civil servants. Although the corresponding bill appears to have dropped off the Rada’s agenda, in some areas, state employees have already lost them under the law on surcharges. For example, teachers and librarians in Novo Kakhovka (Kherson Oblast) lost their allowances, which were 50 percent of their base salary. Teachers in Berdyansk (Zaporozhe Oblast) avoided wage cuts only by threatening a strike. On 1 March 2014, civil servants lost their allowances for long service and exemplary performance of duty, which were about 40 percent of their base salary. If the removal of allowances does occur, the salary of librarians, for example, would be slightly more than 1,000 grivnya (2,840 Roubles. 85 USD. 90.50 CAD. 89.50 AUD. 62 Euros. 50 UK Pounds), doctors, 1,200 grivnya (3,400 Roubles. 101 USD. 108 CAD. 107.50 AUD. 74 Euros. 60 UK Pounds), state municipal officials, 1,500 grivnya (4,260 Roubles. 126 USD. 135.50 CAD. 134.50 AUD. 93 Euros. 75 UK Pounds). Compare this to the coming average cost for utilities of 1,100 grivnya (3,120 Roubles. 92.50 USD. 99.50 CAD. 98.50 AUD. 68 Euros. 55 UK Pounds) per month.

In the manufacturing sector, the situation isn’t much better. The Accounting Department of Dneprospetsstal in Zaporozhe said, “They told us that from 1 June, the work week would go to a four-day schedule, that is, the average worker would lose 1,000 grivnya in wages”. Workers at Azovmash in Mariupol lost their holiday pay. According to Rada People’s Deputy Yuri Shapoval, enterprises in Kremenchug almost completely stopped production because they lost Russian customers, which were the main consumers of Kremenchug products. Tourism, real estate, and the wholesale market trade are at a standstill. People simply don’t have any means to survive. According to the poll run by the website HeadHunter, 54 percent of men and 58 percent of women regularly can’t “last to payday”. In addition, another 20 percent feels financial difficulties at least once every 3 months. Only 20 percent of men and 11 percent of women say admit that they don’t have any problems from payday to payday.

Yatsenyuk’s “government” doesn’t deny that they carried out this “price genocide” in the Ukraine due to IMF demands and that it exactly mirrors “austerity” measures in the EU. By the way, the Ukraine plans to sign a so-called “Association Agreement” with the EU on 27 June {it won’t give them real membership… they get to be Germany’s nigger slaves at wetback peon wages, that’s all: editor}. Yatsenyuk said in the Rada that the Ukraine would need to reduce social benefits and public sector wages, as did Greece and Italy. How it ended in Greece and Italy, I don’t think that it’s necessary to tell you.

Depriving citizens of their last piece of bread, the junta has no difficulty in finding funds for its war against its own people. Experts estimate that the junta spends 3 million USD (102 million Roubles. 3.22 million CAD. 3.2 million AUD. 2.2 million Euros. 1.8 million UK Pounds) per day on its so-called “anti-terrorist operation”. Increasing the intensity of hostilities will just up this amount. You must factor in the fact that men slotted into the armed forces and into the oligarch’s private armies aren’t in the productive economy, which is clearly not conducive to helping the Ukraine’s budget woes. In addition, massive casualties in the junta forces and the terrible living conditions in the service have already caused mass protests in the western Ukraine, the region most loyal to the Kiev junta. Mothers and wives of junta soldiers blocked international motorways in Rovno, Ternopol, Lvov, and Khmelnitsky Oblasts. There’s a high probability that the angry women will march on Kiev shortly, without waiting for their relatives to come home from the army.

We can’t but welcome the beginning of negotiations for a peaceful settlement, which took place in Donetsk under the auspices of the Russian Federation and the OSCE. However, we can’t overlook the fact that time is working against Kiev junta, as the Ukraine faces an imminent economic catastrophe. Therefore, a war with Russia is vital for the junta, allowing it to throw the blame for the complete failure of the current government on “Muscovite aggression”. This explains the border provocations and false ceasefire announcements, when the junta only increases the intensity of the fighting. However, Kiev has a dilemma… its tactic of provoking a war will show its true position on the Donetsk talks.

26 June 2014

Olga Shchedrova

TsIA Novorossiya



This explains much. VVP is waiting for the “fruit to ripen on the tree”. The LNR and DNR leadership was at the Centre last week. No doubt, Vova told them of his plans (and how they should react to them for public consumption). There be some accomplished “belly-talkers” at the Centre and in Novorossiya. “Belly-talk?” Oh, that’s a Japanese concept (haragei), which means that one makes a convincing implication one way, but that one actually intends to do the exact opposite (it also means that one makes vague non-specific statements that give one “deniability”). Note well that the fascist junta is so stupid that they’re falling for it. Actually, they have no option… if Russia doesn’t send a soldier into the Ukraine, the junta can’t put its draconian “emergency” plans into effect. In short, VVP screwed them to the wall… and the Russians and Novorossiyans know it.


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