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The editor of one of Russia’s most respected independent financial magazines acknowledged that Putin is riding the storm of approval well.

“We have some numbers released for the first half of 2022 and the overall sentiment is much more optimistic than in March or April,” Peter Mironenko of “The Bell” tells Fox News.

“We look at the numbers. It’s not manipulated. On the one hand we see an economic slowdown in the second quarter. GDP fell by about 4% and in the third quarter we’ll have about 7%. It’s a recession. But it’s a lot. It’s more modest than say three or four months ago.”

And less dramatic than in 2009, when there was no war; That’s lower than Russia’s central bank’s initial forecast of an 8-10% GDP decline this year. And there is more. According to Mironenko, household income is down only 0.8%. Currently, there is even inflation. Some people are scared to spend less because of the political situation, even saving for a rainy day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's transport industry via video link on May 24, 2022 in Sochi, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country’s transport industry via video link on May 24, 2022 in Sochi, Russia.
(Reuters Attention Editor via Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin – This image was provided by a third party.)

Putin’s fascination with false history and symbolism may run deeper than we know

There are fewer foreign goods to buy, so some Russians are writing it off, but in reality, imported goods can still be bought—between brokers and the incredibly strong ruble, Mironenko says an iPhone will cost you a lot more. years ago. When he recently bought one for his father, he found himself shocked by the fact.

The government, they say, has wisely avoided price controls, even if they see everything else as a return to the USSR. Unemployment is at historic lows. Some of it is artificial. Since the war began, the government has increased pensions and salaries, because it can.

“The sanctions did not reduce the income of the Russian budget from oil exports, so the government has money,” said Mironenko, who was recently exiled due to heavy pressure on the press.

Oil storage tanks stand at the RN-Tuapsinsky refinery, Rosneft Oil Co.  Operated by, the tanker has departed from Tuapse, Russia on Monday, March 23, 2020.  Major oil currencies have fallen sharply this month following a fall in Brent crude.  Prices below $30 per barrel, Russian ruble down 15%.  Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil storage tanks stand at the RN-Tuapsinsky refinery, Rosneft Oil Co. Operated by, the tanker has departed from Tuapse, Russia on Monday, March 23, 2020. Major oil currencies have fallen sharply this month following a fall in Brent crude. Prices below $30 per barrel, Russian ruble down 15%. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“He (will have money) in 2022 and 2023, and as we know, historically Vladimir Putin’s government has also been very, very careful about people’s personal income. His whole ‘prosperity myth’ is based on the constant growth of people’s personal income. Since 2000, he was linked to rising oil prices.

But still, Mironenko adds, Putin wants to keep that prosperity project going and will spend as long as Moscow has the funds to keep Russians in the black.

What are the sanctions doing to Russia?

I ask Mironenko, how long will it be? In theory, he admits sanctions work, but he says, “It’s a long process. Historically there have not been instances where even the highest sanctions have worked in a year. I don’t think we’ll see any. Results – three to five Policy change years ago.”

The energy dance is tricky, according to Mironenko, who explains that oil is more important to Russia’s coffers than gas, so one commodity can be played in some ways.

The Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower and St. Basil's Cathedral are seen from the Art Object in Zaryade Park on March 15, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.  (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo)

The Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower and St. Basil’s Cathedral are seen from the Art Object in Zaryade Park on March 15, 2022 in Moscow, Russia. (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo)
((REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo))

Vladimir Putin has launched a game to cut gas flows to Europe to see if that will scare Brussels enough to loosen restrictions. The pain, apparently, is bearable for now. But when the European ban on Russian oil goes into effect at the end of the year, there could be real trouble in Russia, and Mironenko will be watching that moment closely.

Meanwhile, when it comes to public opinion, it’s not just the propaganda-suicide crowd in Russia that blames the West for any woes they’re experiencing, even if the economy is apparently – perhaps artificially – strong at the moment. While connecting with the outside world and life for many educated and democratic Russians is difficult, it is important.

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Mironenko says there is a lot of anger among those who feel left out of the West, and a lot of debate about how and where one should live one’s life from a moral perspective. So the economy may be in shambles at the moment, but self-searching and angst are dragging many Russians down.