Putin has put Russia on a war footing by setting up to reform the economy for military needs. His announcement of Martial Law in the occupied regions of Ukraine has hit the headlines, but little attention is paid to the economic and administrative aspect of the speech that offers a glimpse of his plans.
Martial Law in the occupied regions of Ukraine is not a new development. Indeed, as a territory in a state of war, with active battles and a large occupying military force – the residents of the area are under enormous duress, facing hardships and limitations that the martial law codifies, but does not introduce. To put it simply, walking on the streets of Mariupol is as dangerous now as it was a week ago.
The big announcement of Putin’s speech to the security council was hidden by the headline grabbing title of martial law. As Russia is facing a tougher time making rockets to bombard Ukraine, it is also suffering economically, having to look for new partners, new markets and new ways to restructure the economy and meet the pressures of the war. This came in the form of a new bureaucratic system.
The tyrant said “I instruct the Government to prepare a draft presidential decree on the establishment of a special coordinating council. It will be headed by the head of the Cabinet of Ministers, the council will include vice-premiers, representatives of law enforcement agencies, the socio-economic bloc of the Government, the Presidential Administration, as well as the State Council, which will ensure close interaction with all regions of the country.”
The body which is due to be created does not fit within the Russian governmental structure, but encapsulating representatives of the highest offices and police goons – but it has the power to rule though existing systems at its disposal. In essence, we are presented with an alternative governmental structure, entirely under presidential control. That is not to say, of course, that the existing governmental structure is anything but ornamental.
In a state where the word of only one person has weight – it is being thrown fully behind a new push. The Russia president is struggling to get the country on war economy rails and such a tight grip on the bloated and useless bureaucratic is the only way to get things moving. Regional governments will be superseded by the central power block, attempting to remove all possible thoughts of secession, cash flows will be ever more central and it would not be without reason to suggest nationalization, or temporary control, of certain industry.
Putin often speaks of the Soviet Union. Expecting to unite the former Soviet states and failing miserably, he took the next best option – introducing sole crushing centralization and creating destitution.