The Olympic Games have to show to the world the greatness and ability of Russia to great fulfillments. And if it works well, it will be shown and proved to the whole world that present heads (read Putin personally) are able to organize large international projects. As they say, we won't stand behind the price. By the way, expenses on the Olympic Games according to official figures made 214 billion rubles (6,1 billion dollars). In order to make it more evident, we will give other figure – all international currency reserves of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation made 509,6 billion dollars on January 1st, 2014. Criteria of success are already defined by Putin: the main thing is not sports victories and achievements, but the good organization of Games. No interpretation is required. We won’t to wait for too long, opening is already on the coming Friday, February 7.
Meanwhile the ruble exchange rate on the relation to dollar and euro behaved absolutely unsportsmanlike in anticipation of the Olympic Games. On Friday, January 31, the ruble exchange rate reached a point of 35,24 rubles for dollar. Since the beginning of the year the course has grown already by 7,8%. The Central Bank in the person of the heads calmed the population and heads of the enterprises as it could. Well, we are not guilty, as foreign markets behave so that the dollar becomes stronger, instead of the ruble falls. It is so as it said formally, the program of monetary mitigation in the USA is gradually displaced and the Federal Reserve System and the era of cheap dollar really consigns to the past. However heads of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation dissemble a little – they could support ruble by Central Bank interventions, but essentially they don't want to do it for the reasons known to them alone. We will remind that the dollar began to grow in Russia since February 4, 2013 when it cost 30, 04 rub. By July 1st it already reached a point of 33, 08 rubles. But strange "flourishes" began to happen with a course:
• On July 22 the course fell to 32,43 rub,
• By September 2nd it grew up again and cost 33 38 rub,
• On October 21 the course again fell to «unreal low" marks – 31, 78 rub.
It didn't fall any more further, having reached by the end of December a mark of 32, 62 rub for dollar.
And now we will give parameters of the international currency reserves of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation for certain dates:
• on 01.01.13 – 537, 6 billion dollars
• on 01.07.13 – 513, 7 billion dollars
• on 01.09.13 - 509,6 billion dollars
• on 01.11.13 – 524, 3 billion dollars
• on 01.12.13 – 515, 6 billion dollars
• on 01.01.14 – 509, 6 billion dollars.
Simple comparison of the above-stated data shows that at the beginning of 2013 the Central Bank spent significantly more means, buying currency, than at the end of 2013. We will remind that the new chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabyullina entered the position on June 24. It seems that the policy of the Central Bank began to differ from the policy of the previous management significantly. The new policy of the Central Bank began to be shown in mass revocation of licenses of "unreliable" banks and very weak support of a ruble exchange rate. It isn't excluded that it is rather forward-looking policy of the new management in average and long-term perspective. However there is one question –why to devaluate ruble in so short terms so sharply, moreover on the eve of the Olympic Games when everybody waits for a holiday? What did stir the Central Bank to devaluate ruble more smoothly, gradually and less painfully during the whole 2013? And as a result the holiday is spoiled – ruble accumulation of the population are devaluated, the management of the Central Bank should tell fables that devaluation of ruble won't affect a rate of inflation in any way, etc., etc.
But we imagine that everything is simple in this situation – the country leaders didn't find any other way out how to execute May 2012 decrees of the Russian President about increase of salaries to state employees but to devaluate ruble sharply. There are no money in budgets for it, and so there is a chance that the treasury will replenish at the expense of increase in receipts from exporters, and probably import substitution will gain strength when import goods in rubles will significantly rise in price again, and local Russian producers won't raise the price of the production so sharply. It is good for everybody: domestic producers, the budget and even state employees to whom will be paid raised salaries (though considerably grown thin from a rise in prices).
We can say that nothing else serious occurred at the federal level. Events in Ukraine have obviously passed from a rough stage in quieter and measured one after the resignation of the Prime minister Azarov and amnesty to peace participants of the Euromaidan. Now the opposition has to take some step. In principle it has to be the step towards Yanukovych, however, it is speed and initiative loss for the opposition. It seems that fights in Kiev pass into the opposition course and have all chances to be tightened for a long time, might be to the presidential elections in 2015. It isn't excluded that the leadership of Russia took more moderate position (non-interference position) as a result in events in Ukraine; at least, it looks so from outside. However it doesn't cancel propaganda promotion in any way on the central channels in Russia. And all this is being done not for Ukrainians, but for us, Russians, that we knew how bad the life of the people who dared to having their own opinion.
The history of Rain TV channel comes from the same series. Journalists of "Rain", of course, were set up with poll concerning the necessity to hand over Leningrad to Germans during the Great Patriotic War. The question, of course, should not have been raised in such a way. Only those people who never visited the Piskarevsky cemetery can say so. But the true hysteria has been raised round the "Rain". Both the prosecutor's office and Russian Committee of Supervision, as well as cable operators wanted to disconnect "Rain" from air, etc., etc. And it is clear that the central power had nothing to do with it. It was an amateur performance of patriotic citizens and chiefs of cable networks which at the price of violation of contractual obligations were ready to show how to love the Motherland. But it became clear to everyone that we should not be mistaken in our country and we should not stumble even slightly. It can come to a sad end. It, of course, was known earlier and probably someone forgot partially in the shadow of Bolotnaya Square. We were reminded.
And it seems like everything calmed down and even opposition procession "For freedom to prisoners of Bolotnaya" in the center of Moscow, which took place on February 2nd, passed without excesses, as they say peacefully. According to the press service of Ministry of Internal Affairs Capital Administration, about two thousand people that are nearly seven times less than the coordinated number of fifteen thousand people took part in the action. Representatives of Republican party of Russia –Parnassus, Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, as well as Gennady Gudkov, the members of the movement "Solidarity", the members of the left front and other organizations came to the action.
Is it the end of Bolotnaya? It is unlikely. Simply the protest hid somehow. But it will surely prove itself, the serious occasion is necessary for it. Our authorities as it is known, will create this occasion, without realizing.
And what about regions? Nothing significantly interesting – Olympic flame relay comes to an end, everything stiffened in waiting for whether a grandiose victory of Russia at the Olympic Games, whether for an anticipation of the next records of dollar. Both are expected with great, genuine interest.
There is almost international break in Yaroslavl region: the Governor S. Yastrebov went for three days to other country and met the President of Belarus Alexander (Father) Lukashenko. The president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko declares intention to expand scales of cooperation with the Yaroslavl region of Russian Federation on creation of joint productions. "One of the perspective directions is further development of industrial cooperation", - was noted by A. Lukashenko during discussing with the Governor of the Yaroslavl region Sergey Yastrebov on cooperation questions. He urged the Russian partners "to think over such cooperation projects which would involve production, scientific and technological and personnel potential of Belarus and the Yaroslavl region as well". S. Yastrebov told that during visit to Belarus he managed to discuss with the Belarusian partners the perspective directions of cooperation that "our end products would be worthy and competitive". He declared his desire to develop cooperation communications with the Belarusian enterprises, having offered a new line of the Yaroslavl engines. A certain concrete result of the visit is the statement that production of buses and dump trucks can be organized in Yaroslavl together with Belarus. The Belarusian dump trucks are planned to be produced soon on the basis of Yaroslavl motors. The small thing is left to be accomplished as always, that is make business. Well, we always were good with statements: it was declared before elections that we can renew the project of the Karabulinsky outcome in Yaroslavl. And so what? ... In the relation to Belarus business is even more difficult: A. Lukashenko is such a partner who plays only by his own rules. Nothing stops him, and he does not afraid of anybody. The examples of the assets of "Uralkali" and "Baltic" in Belarus serve as confirmation. So that if something won't be pleasant to the Father or he will simply change the mind, everything can happen to "the industrial cooperation program" as well. And we will remain hostages of the great Belarusian helmsman. Well, if it is not just PR chatter.
Meanwhile after all quite concrete affairs develop in the Yaroslavl region. And this affairs are criminal. One of such affairs is the matter in the relation to the former director of municipal road government. It reached court. Nearly 3 years were required to investigators to collect evidential base upon excess of powers of office by the head of State Road Department Evgeny Malygin. The amount of damage is 17 million rubles. According to the investigators, in 2011 the municipal enterprise won a contract for capital repairs of domestic territories and roads adjoining to them. All works were performed by State Road Department forces. However, according to the investigators, Evgeny Malygin processed documents for involvement of subcontract organizations. Money of the city budget was transferred to accounts of false firms also. Evgeny Malygin held a post of the director general of Municipal road government since 1999. In March, 2012 the contract with him according to the decision of board of directors was not prolonged. The period of board of the former director coincides on terms with blossoming of municipal economy of Yaroslavl directed by the former mayor V. Volonchunas, nowadays the deputy of a regional Duma. Evgeny Malygin denies the fault today.
Interesting details were reported on January 29 by the head of Committee of inquiry on the Yaroslavl region Oleg Lipatov. It is left to wait for the conclusions on 15 phonoscope examinations and investigation to be completed on the matter of the mayor of Rybinsk Yury Lastochkin. The investigators plan to finish this work by the end of February. By the middle of February the Investigating Commetee wants to finish its work on the case of the former chairman of Election Commission Denis Vasilyev accused of receiving a bribe. So we can receive full picture of these remarkable in all the relation criminal cases in March.
And there is one more news. Flight and aviation examination confirmed unavailability of pilots to management of the Yak-42 plane of the Locomotive team, wrecked on September 7, 2011. Life News reports on it with reference to the sources. Experts confirmed the fault in an accident the people responsible for training of pilots. This is the employee and the former deputy director general "Yac service" Vadim Timofeyev. The violation of the rules of traffic safety and operation of the air transport, entailed on imprudence death of two and more persons is incriminated to him. Under the relevant article up to seven years of imprisonment threatens to Timofeyev.
It became known last week that one more newspaper “Hometown" is closed in Yaroslavl. Its founder Ivan Katyshev hopes that it is temporary. Katyshev doesn't make any comments on the reason of such decision yet. Thus the founder doesn't intend to refuse the license. He reports about it in the official appeal to readers on a newspaper site. It isn't excluded that it is connected with Grigory Rodin's business, the publisher of this newspaper concerning whom now the investigative actions are being conducted.
Well, where is positive? Probably it is only necessary to wait and hope for the Olympic Games. And what else left? After all we are rather poor country in which there are grandiose projects are happening and the people have nothing but to hope for holidays and "greatness of the nation". Perhaps, it though somehow will keep the people in vigorous, joyful mood…. at least for a while.
Our call center conducted the next survey of the population of Russia at the end of January, 2014. Within the frames of our next research project we asked adult inhabitants of Russia the following question: "How would you characterize the financial position of your family? Alternatives of answers to this question projected rating scale "poverty – wealth":
• "There is no money even on food" ("poverty")
• «Suffices on food, but purchase of clothes is problematic" ("stagnant poverty")
• We can afford food and clothes, but purchase of goods of long using (the new refrigerator or the TV) is difficult ("poverty")
• We can afford goods of long using, but purchase of the new car is impossible so far ("average income")
• We can afford practically everything, except an apartment or a summer house ("wealthy")
• We can afford everything, including an apartment or a summer house ("rich")
The telephone survey of the population of Russia was conducted on January 20-24, 2013, sample made 1200 people at the age of 18 and more years. Data (percentage of respondents) say that as a whole the Russian population - poor. More than a half of adult inhabitants (64, 4%) are in a zone between poverty and average income citizens, the average income people are less than 20%. Rich make less than a unit (0, 1%). So what else can the state give to such poor people but a holiday and hope?