(The Moscow Times) Even such exciting foreign policy news as Russia's intervention in the Syrian civil war does nothing to help the condition of this country's economy. To the contrary, even prior to 2014, Russia spent an inordinate amount on military expenses and for the country's "security" — in the broad sense of the word. And now that military action "justifies" otherwise pointless and nonproductive expenses, it has become even more difficult to reduce outlays for weapons production.
It was clear 30 years ago that the Soviet economy could not cope with the burden of excessive military spending. However, leaders refused to cut those expenses until an economic disaster hit and those outlays — along with all others — were drastically reduced. And it is just as wrong to blame those who were in power at the time as it would be to blame an emergency room physician for the death of a patient who had led an unhealthy lifestyle for decades.
Neither does the economy receive a boost from cultural news. News that prominent Russian-language writer Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for literature cheered those who cherish Russian literature, but it only deepened the paranoia of those who believe the award is given for political reasons and that foreign forces have spawned the recent rash of civil wars and revolutions. […]
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