Volume 43, Number 171,
October-December 2012
Russia: Strengths and Weaknesses
Arturo Bonilla
Vladimir Putin ( ...continuation )

Despite official restrictions on the inflow of foreign capital, its presence in the social and economic scene slowly became more entrenched, even when Putin’s government, despite its lacking capital, chose not to buddy up with multi-national capital.

On the contrary, his government decided upon a series of strongly nationalistic measures with the effect of positioning Russia as an international power.

Before pointing out the advances that Putin gradually made with productive activities, we must begin with the fundamental fact that despite the split that the ussr suffered, its nuclear power did not disappear, although it was weakened, especially in the field of research and development.

Keep in mind that together with the US, Great Britain, France and more recently India and China, Russia also produced the most fearsome weapon of mass destruction: the hydrogen bomb, which was much more destructive than atomic bombs. Together with these weapons of mass destruction, remember that the ussr had managed to acquire a neutron bomb during the Soviet period and had competed with the big powers in producing chemical and biologically destructive weapons.

In other words, although the Soviet Union’s nuclear power was no longer present on the world scene, this power passed to the hands of Russia. Putin’s government reinstated the weapons industry, as well as scientific research in different scientific areas for peaceful purposes, with an emphasis on nuclear physics research.

A sign of the advance of Russian military research was obtaining the thermobaric bomb, exploded in April 2007. This bomb has a destructive power greater than that of similar British or American bombs and according to experts, has the lethal power of a small atomic bomb. Proof of this nuclear power is that in May 2002, Russia and the United States established an agreement to reduce the number of nuclear warheads from 6,000 to “only” 2,000 each.

Another field related to Russian military research was to restart a series of works initiated during the Soviet period, linked to the study of the ionosphere, the so-called sura program. Not much is known publicly about this research, which is also carried out by the Pentagon and the US Army under the name haarp (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program). Research on the ionosphere is related to magnetic communication that can have influence on radial, telephone, satellite and television communication.

Both Russia and the usa always talk about scientific projects useful for humanity, but the fact is that little is known publicly, and it is quite likely that these are projects with a purpose that is not purely peaceful, but also military. Detractors from both projects talk about secret meteorological weapons, with possible catastrophic climate changes. They also call them geophysical warfare.

In the area of productive activity, various segments of industry were promoted with state support, such as reestablishing the petroleum industry, and providing conditions for it to obtain currency, forest exploitation and the mining industry to extract minerals demanded by the West, like aluminum, gold and even uranium, among others. For example, Russia supplies the usa with 40% if its uranium needs.

Another big area receiving government attention has been the development of both civil and military aviation. The government has driven the construction of turbo-helix and turbine planes, required for fast communication through a vast territory. Although the territory has been reduced since the former Soviet republics were separated, Russia is still the country with the greatest geographic area on the planet. In this way, manufacturing of all types of airplanes resurged, in particular different versions of the Yliushin and Tupolev, one of which has the largest cargo capacity in the world.

Another branch where Russia has stood out is space aeronautics, including the building of rockets, where Russia has been on the cutting edge. Among the different versions of rockets, the Proton stands out as the most powerful piece of production. This advantage has allowed Russia to head the launch of the International Space Station, where various countries participated, including the usa. Among other advances, the design of space suits stands out, as well as the launch of cosmonauts and prolonged stays in space, which has given rise to the surge and development of specialized sciences in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, physiology and biochemistry, all linked to the functioning of the human organism.

One of Russia’s spectacular advances was placing the country’s flag on the ocean floor of the North Pole, in the location that is geographically considered the center of the pole. This expression, if you will, is symbolic to a certain extent of Russian sovereignty in disputed areas regarding national domination among various countries with borders or seas in the Arctic Pole, including the usa with Alaska, Denmark with Greenland, Norway and Canada. Although important advances were made in these areas during the Soviet period, these advances have since begun again.

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 48, Number 191, October-December 2017 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Alicia Girón González. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: Nov 13th, 2017.
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