Slowly, but surely Russia is gearing up into its Venezuela 2.0 phase, as it begins to experience the effects of Western sanctions and the catastrophic loss of its gas war against Europe. Some have countered my prediction by saying that Russia will never go down the road of a Venezuela-like crisis because it is bigger and economically stronger than Venezuela, but that only means that the crisis is only going to be bigger and by far more catastrophic.
Last year, we were surprised to see images of thousands of young men fleeing the Russian borders. This year will bring yet even more images of Russians fleeing their country as those who have chosen to stay will eventually experience a new major economic crisis. It will be mostly the professional classes who will be leaving first and Russia will continue to experience further brain drains until only the most loyal to Putin’s party will remain.
Europe has to be prepared for the coming waves of Russian migrants and change its policies accordingly. Those who will be fleeing Russia in 2023 are less likely to flee for political reasons as the Russian economy crumbles. However, we must recognize that Russians will be fleeing their own humanitarian catastrophe. Europe shouldn’t treat Russian economic immigrants better than it treats economic immigrants from any other place in the world, and if anything, Europe has to consider the serious security implications of allowing Russians to live amongst us given that the majority of Russians supported Putin and the war on Ukraine. There is nothing Russophobic about this because Europe is not obliged to lend a hand to those who openly support our destruction. In fact, the Russian passport should be the least respected, and economic immigrants from Africa or the Near and Far East should be prioritized over Russians.
Trading and enjoying the benefits of the West should come with the acceptance of certain fundamental principles, and one of these fundamental rules is that no one can start arbitrary wars of imperialism or aggression. The top Kremlin propagandists have consistently called for our destruction by nuclear war often at the cheering of their audiences, yet we will be accused of Russophobia when we opt to close our borders to these people. Let’s be reasonable.
Political leadership in Europe coming from Berlin and Brussels has lost track of history and reality because there is no possibility that Russians will change their beliefs through a moment of enlightenment. Even without Putin, Russia will most probably remain a bellicose imperialist state. The road to democracy in Europe has been fraught with revolutions and wars and there is no silver lining that will lead to a rosy and democratic Russian future. There are still people alive today who remember the days when democracy was actually imposed on Germany.