Why did the government decide to raise the retirement age so rudely and so radically? Are they so brave that they are ready to go against the whole people? Look, already more than two million Russians have signed a petition against raising the retirement age. Why do you think all this was done? 

Correct! So that Putin would cancel everything! Well, at least would pretend to cancel: soften, brake, blurt it out… The government has been struggling hard to prepare a circus act for the head of state — the abolition of the anti-popular reform (well, maybe substituting it for meaningless mitigations and adjustments). The president is such that at the most crucial moment — when all are already to go to rallies and referendums — he will take this wretched pension reform and cancel it. Not only that the guilty will be taken to task, but even pensions will be increased by one hundred roubles [approximately by Euro 1.4). And here you can see a strong president. A defender. And he has kept his word. Well, maybe pretended to keep it. Then his rating will indeed rise to 120 — 140 per cent. And Russians will want so that he stayed not just for the next term, but forever, to the end of time. 

As for the money that the government could «raise» on pensions, there are many other ways to take this money away from people. On can do it directly — through taxes on personal income, property, imputed income, on self-employed, through the state duties, through gasoline and gas prices, utility tariffs, fees for anything. And it is possible to it indirectly — through VAT, excise duties, the profit tax, through a rise in prices and inflation, and through a transport tax. 

As a result, Putin will become even a «better» defender of the people, but people will be squeezed dry. But how else one should support the oligarchs who got under sanctions? As the expense of what one can fund the arms race and military adventures in Donbass and Syria, implement megaprojects – Olympic Games, bridges [to Crimea] and football [World Cup]? Is not it obvious? Only a few days ago the Federal Customs Service proposed to levy duties on goods that Russians buy in foreign online stores. 

Well, what else can be done if the economy has not been functioning for almost five years? 

If the Russian industry has just set a record decline in demand for its products for the past nine years, the demand for consumer goods has shrunk since the collapse of population’s incomes and trading networks have already started closing their outlets for urgent «reconstruction». 

If on the eve of the World Cup, which cost the Russian authorities spent hundreds of billions of roubles, real incomes of Russians fall by 9.3 per cent in one month. 

If even the Central Bank so much committed to the regime, has been publishing data indicating that the economy was not going to and is not going to grow and accelerate: in the first quarter of 2018, the growth was by only 1.3 — 1.5 per cent, by one third lower than expected by the Ministry of Economic Development, and less than the Central Bank estimated in mid-April. 

If in 2015, 30 per cent of Russian enterprises expressed their intention to purchase «import-substituting» domestic equipment, and in 2017 their share dropped to 8 per cent and has been going on to decline. 

If all the current economic dynamics does not leave any chance and hope and the head of the Ministry of Economic Development says that «the situation in the economy is not very good». Indeed, in the first quarter of 2018 the growth slowed down (according to the Ministry of Economic Development) to 1.1 per cent. The slowdown in growth as compared to the previous year began in January (1.4 per cent) and  has intensified since then: in February the indicator fell to 1.3 per cent, and in March to 0.7 per cent. 

In such a situation, it is obvious the authorities will somehow squeeze billions of roubles out of people for the maintenance of their system if not through pensions, then through taxes, duties and other charges. Why should they take money away only from pensioners, when they can squeeze all?