You know my position--I am not into the predictions' games. I am into the framework's description nauseating and tedious process, but I still read forecasts from a select group of people whose opinions I find interesting and worthy of noting. James Howard Kunstler is one such man, despite me not agreeing with him on some key "framework" points, but still--kudos to James for providing us all with a rather voluminous prediction for 2021 and I wanted to specifically point out to his Russia's conclusion, especially against the background of his rather grim tone on the chances for Western Civilization:
Russia appears best positioned to sit out the economic disorders of the West and the discontents of China. Russia has already been through a traumatic economic and political collapse and emerged much lightened, streamlined, and viable. Due to punitive US sanctions, she has had to develop an import-replacement economy, supplying more of her own needs. She has about twice the proven oil reserves as the USA and less than half our population. She has been steadily acquiring gold reserves and has been making noises about establishing a gold-backed currency — which would be a real novelty in a world of fiat junk money. She has a well-educated and relatively homogenous population of capable people who have recovered psychologically from the 75-year-long political mind-fuck of communism. She has an arsenal of world-beating hypersonic nuclear weapons. She has rational and intelligent political leadership. And Russia just passed a law stating that anyone who brings false #MeToo accusations against another citizen faces five years in prison. One looks on in awe!
James gave this section of predictions the next title: Chinese Fire Drills with Russian Dressing. Seems symptomatic enough. Read his assessment of COVID-19. One will have to consider this global phenomenon once one learns that now China claims that the actual number of infected was... 10 times. No, really, I kid you not.
The game of twististics continues, so you decide who BSes who. Remarkably, it seems primarily between the US and China, while Russians, evidently, had enough and (you will understand it even without English-translation) went on... New Year's celebrations in Moscow and elsewhere. As Russia 24 report is titled: No One Is Talking About Social Distancing. Not at all, indeed.
Meanwhile, Russia's Western Military District, in conjunction with Belorussian Armed Forces will conduct Strategic Command-Staff Maneuvers Zapad-2021 (in Russian) this year with special focus on repelling massive attacks of cruise missiles and drilling this ever important maneuver warfare (in the Net-Centric and AI paradigm) with the emphasis on a massive inter-theater maneuver by forces. Don't worry, it was planned already in 2020 so it is not that it was suddenly decided--all is in accordance to plan, so, no reasons for worrying. As the big honcho of Rostec Sergei Chemezov stated four days ago (in Russian)--first S-500s will be delivered to the front line service this year. A lot of new military porn is coming our way. Damn, I made a prediction again--I hate myself. But in the year which passed, it was new Russian Constitution which, like antibiotic introduced into the body of a person recovering after serious surgery, begins its process of healing slowly but surely. Looking from a distance of almost 30 years at Russia, I constantly catch myself on the thought that I can barely recognize the country, in a good sense. There are problems, of course, Russia's future is also not cloudless, but the chances of survival are very high. In fact, they are the best. Even China is behind in this category. And I will make last prediction--the stream of European people to Russia will increase in this decade. All this, due to events to the West of Russia, which also necessitate events such as Zapad-2021. Just in case. Ah, yes, in conclusion--my new book should see the light of the day sometime in March, April--the latest.