The partial mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin a year ago has solved Russia's unemployment problem and generated global economic growth, according to pro-Kremlin propaganda.
Propaganda. The economic situation in Russia has improved due to the "special military operation" in Ukraine and the partial mobilization
NEWS: “Almost a year has passed since the partial mobilization for the special operation in Ukraine was announced. This decision has influenced not only the situation on the front, but also the one inside the country [...]. The partial mobilization has triggered an increase in the number of those who want to enter into a contract with the Ministry of Defense. Expenditures have grown, but unemployment has dropped," said Maksim Cirkov, lecturer at the Department of Political Economy and Economic Changes of the University of Public Administration.
“The special military operation has affected the labor market and the Russian economy. Thanks to the special operation and the partial mobilization, unemployment has gone down [...]. More than 300 thousand people have signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense. They now receive much higher salaries compared to the previous period," said the specialist.
[...] The Russian economy in the year 2023 exceeds several times that of the European Union and the USA. In this chapter we are not competing with the West, but with the leaders of the ranking, including many BRICS countries and, in particular, China.
NARRATIVE: With the war in Ukraine and the partial mobilization, Putin has saved Russia from unemployment and poverty.
PURPOSE: The false narrative was launched in the information space to justify the measures taken by the Kremlin in the context of the war and strengthen the population's trust in the authorities.
REALITY: Russia’s economy is in definite decline, and the mobilization is a serious blow to the business environment and stability.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: The partial mobilization and launch of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has not led to an overall economic growth in the economy — even though some sectors related to the war effort have seen increases. The conclusions of the expert quoted by the Russian media contain a number of logical contradictions. The mobilization is praised for having led to an increase in state "expenditure", without showing the financial sources to cover this expenditure. At the same time, concluding a contract with the army is presented as a way to stimulate the economy.
The drop in the unemployment rate, presented as Putin’s big success, actually hides a big issue for the Russian economy – a shortage of labor force. According to a report by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, mobilization has had negative effects on the country’s economy and business environment. A staffing crisis has emerged at a number of enterprises”, according to the Central Bank, which notes an increase in inflation. Fearing military mobilization, hundreds of thousands of people have left their jobs and fled Russia, with the issue affecting a number of key industries – including, for example, IT.
The very publication URA.RU, which distributes this false narrative, wrote in October 2022 that Russia must organize an “economic mobilization” in response to Western support for Ukraine. In the context of the sanctions imposed on Russia and the suspension of economic cooperation in several chapters with the West, there has been a mutilation of the Russian economy, and the ruble has been blown up. Ukrainian resistance is forcing Russia to increase military spending as sanctions erode revenues from energy exports, creating a large budget deficit that puts pressure on the exchange rate.
Russia’s economy is shrinking amid Western sanctions that the EU says are aimed at weakening Moscow’s ability to finance the war and specifically target the political, military and economic elite responsible for the invasion. According to the head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, Russia’s economic prospects are increasingly bleak, noting in an interview with CNN that emigration, sanctions and the absence of access to Western technologies are blocking any development.
Russia accounts for only 3.4% of the global economy , according to the World Economics analysis. The leader of the ranking of the largest economies is China (18.2%), followed by the USA (12.4%), India (8.7%) and Japan (3.5%). Russia does not compete with China, the US or all EU states, as pro-Kremlin propaganda says, being included in the "type C" ranking, which means the country is in decline.
Most of the time, Russian economists analyze only these figures that describe the general situation, but if the GDP per capita is analyzed, Russia ranks 56th in the world. Even if economic growth can be reported in some sectors, it will not solve the Russians' problems. The Russian economy has a mutilated structure because more than a third of the GDP is in the hands of the big oligarchs , and the growth refers to a small group of people.