From Soviet To Putin and Back: The Dominance of Energy In Today's Russia
Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has taken a giant step backwards into its Soviet past, and nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of energy politics. Modern Russian politics and energy sources - first oil and then both oil and gas - have been inextricably connected in a way unmatched by any other major power in the history of the world. This time, however, the state is bare, without the fig leaf of legitimacy that its communist ideology once offered.
One reason for Putin's overwhelming popularity at home, is that he has tapped into Russia's two strong yearnings: a cultural affinity for strong, Tsar-like leadership - quite different from Western European and North American predilections - and an understandable hunger for prestige and world recognition - a need to be relevant. In the course of 15 years, the Russian people saw their country go from superpower to junior partner, and then, thanks to Putin, through renaissance of power. Putin's sojourn has not been on the back of nuclear weapons - which the country still owns in abundance - but has been fueled by oil and gas. What Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev could not do with nuclear weapons and raw military power, Putin has attempted with oil and gas, in what can arguably be called energy imperialism.
Economides' New Book Energy: China's Choke Point also available at the Hart Store.
Economides' The Color of Oil also available at the Hart Store.