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Leonid Bershidsky

No, Obama, Russia's Economy Isn't 'in Tatters'

And don't count on economic strife to undermine Vladimir Putin.
The economy won't stop him.

The economy won't stop him.

Photographer: Harry Engels/Getty Images

Western politicians and pundits should be more careful with their predictions for the Russian economy: Reports of its demise may prove to be premature.

Bashing the Russian economy has lately become a popular pastime. In his state of the nation address last month, U.S. President Barack Obama said it was "in tatters." And yesterday, Anders Aslund of the Peterson Institute for International Economics published an article predicting a 10 percent drop in gross domestic product this year -- more or less in line with the apocalyptic predictions that prevailed when the oil price reached its nadir late last year and the ruble was in free fall.