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Why Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Steven Tian, and the Yale Research Team Were Right: Russia’s Escalating Crisis

The Pro-Russian Advocates Missed the Bullseye by a Wide Margin

Rouble Tumble

Russia’s situation has markedly worsened, exemplified by the Kremlin’s sudden embargo on diesel and gasoline exports. This measure was taken to stabilize domestic fuel prices, driven by heightened military demand, leading to widespread gasoline shortages at Russian service stations. Additionally, the Russian rouble’s recent drop below the critical 100-to-the-dollar threshold has triggered concerns, primarily stemming from foreign currency outflows. In a parallel response to a similar scenario in August, the Bank of Russia initiated an emergency rate hike, raising interest rates to 12%. Discussions on potentially reintroducing currency controls to fortify rouble stability ensued. Currently, the rouble remains weak against the dollar, hitting the 100 mark in recent trading, representing a seven-week low. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov’s seemingly indifferent assurances that “there is no cause for concern” and that “macroeconomic stability is fully ensured” have garnered skepticism and derision, calling into question their credibility. If you want to catch Dmitry Peskov in a fib, just keep an eye on those lips of his; when they’re in motion, the truth takes a vacation! These developments underscore the foresight of Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Steven Tian, and the Yale Research Team, who consistently warned of the precarious state of the Russian economy. This raises questions about the whereabouts and credibility of Pro-Russian Advocates.

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Russia’s Deteriorating Situation

These fuel shortages emerged due to the redirection of domestic fuel shipments to the southern regions, in anticipation of an impending winter conflict in Ukraine. Reports suggest a notable increase in fuel deliveries to Russian military units near and within Ukraine, marking the highest levels since the initial invasion earlier in the year. Concurrently, the sanctions imposed on Russia’s oil products on February 5th led to the cessation of fuel exports to Europe. Instead, these exports were rerouted to “friendly nations” outside the sanctions framework, with a focus on BRICS member countries, fostering robust intra-BRICS oil trade relations. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that these alternative markets cannot fully substitute the ones Russia previously enjoyed. During a recent conference in Moscow, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin expressed confidence, proclaiming that “the worst is over” for the Russian economy. This statement followed Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov’s report, which highlighted a significant surge in oil export revenues, though the accuracy of this data may be questioned. Siluanov also exhibited unwavering confidence in the government’s ability to achieve a 2% budget deficit for the current fiscal year. Indeed, it’s crucial to acknowledge that despite such sentiments, Russia’s economic challenges are rapidly approaching a nightmarish scenario.

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