At his inauguration, Putin proclaims peace and prosperity, both are elusive

RUSSIA — Journalists watch an inauguration ceremony of Vladimir Putin as Russian President in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, 07 May 2018

By Polygraph

Vladimir Putin

President of the Russian Federation

I believe that it is my duty and the meaning of my entire life to do everything for Russia, its present and future, to ensure that it is peaceful and prosperous, to preserve and perpetuate our great people, and bring prosperity to every household in Russia. Let me assure you that just as before I will devote my life and my work to serving the people and our Fatherland. For me, this is above everything.

MISLEADING

Putin annexed Crimea and fomented a war in eastern Ukraine in 2014, intervened in Syria in 2015. Since then, poverty has grown steadily in Russia.

In his inaugural address for his fourth term in office, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it his duty is to ensure that Russia is “peaceful and prosperous.” Based on his last term alone, it’s fair to say his statement is misleading. Russians are involved in wars in two countries and, after a period of recession, Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) remains at “stagnation” levels.

During Putin’s early years as president, particularly in the mid-2000s, Russians experienced a significant rise in living standards. High oil prices and sensible domestic and foreign policies led to the creation of a Russian “middle class.”

The Moscow City business district, Moscow, Russia, October 22, 2017.
The Moscow City business district, Moscow, Russia, October 22, 2017

But in Putin’s last term alone, he used his military to take control of and completely annex the Crimean peninsula in 2014. In Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Putin fomented a war disguised as a “separatist uprising.” To this day the Kremlin keeps the war going by supplying arms, material, and money to two self-proclaimed “republics” in the region. The International Criminal Court has ruled that the annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine’s Donbas region constitute an international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine -- Pro-Russian armored military vehicles ride in Donetsk, April 27, 2015
Ukraine — Pro-Russian armored military vehicles ride in Donetsk, April 27, 2015

Putin’s rhetoric has been anything but peaceful as well. During his March 2018 address to the Federal Assembly, Putin spent a large portion of his speech boasting about Russia’s new nuclear weapons.

“No one was listening,” Putin said in his speech. “They will listen now.”

Putin’s presentation even included a video depicting nuclear warheads hitting the state of Florida.

Screenshot of the animated demo with the image of Florida as a target of Russian missiles, as presented by V. Putin
Screenshot of the animated demo with the image of Florida as a target of Russian missiles, as presented by V. Putin

At the same time, the Russian economy has been hit hard, poverty is on the riseand the gains of the mid-2000s are starting to wane. Also, while Putin claimed he was duty-bound to bring prosperity to every Russian household, the country’s wealth inequality suggests that a few households are prospering far more than others.

By Polygraph