Welcome to the USSR

Welcome to the USSR

Photo: ua.depositphotos.com / sashkakash
2 March 2022

Russian citizens,

Look what Putin has done to all of you

  1. Now you are in the history textbooks. All of you. Resistance inside Germany during World War II is studied only by professional historians. In the textbooks just aggression and war crimes are described. You are already there. As well as your children. Even those who were born yesterday. Or those who will be born tomorrow.
  2. You missed the Soviet Union. Welcome behind the iron curtain. What has started as sanctions has become a complete isolation. Russia has become a pariah country for the years ahead. Your “popularly elected” president has turned traditionally neutral countries into active participants of alliances. Switzerland joined the EU sanctions. Monaco sanctions assets of your oligarchs. Sweden and Finland join NATO. And not because they are afraid. People are afraid of strong countries, not Russia. Russia is ignored and its borders are closed. 
  3. If you manage to go abroad most probably you will not be welcomed. No normal country of the world will welcome you. Some Schengen countries have already refused to issue visas to Russian citizens. A complete ban is possible. However, this is not topical for you. First, the EU has already closed the sky for your airlines, other countries will follow soon. Second, money is needed for travel. Right now tens of thousands of your compatriots cannot return home. They are abroad, their cards are not working, planes are not flying. Will locals help them? Let’s be honest. No one liked Russian tourists anyway. People were patient with you while you were spending money. Now you will have much less of it.
  4. Your food will be worse. And not only because there will be no imported products. The thing is that the allies’ sanctions will striangulate Russian economy. Russian economy will die not instantly but in a few months. You will have time to appreciate it. Lines to ATMs, RUB/USD exchange rate above 150, more expensive food, lines in the shops. This is just the start. Prices for medicines are also rising. Many imported medicines will disappear from your drug stores, therefore those produced in Russia will be more expensive.
  5. Good education becomes a luxury. Russian ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova says that Russian students are expelled from European universities. Right now we cannot confirm this. However, it’s easy to check, right? You are not wanted anywhere. This will not change fast. This is for years. 
  6. Spotify, Netflix… You will not be able to buy anything there. Because Visa and Mastercard recall licenses of your banks. Some of you already cannot pay for the subscription. The thing is that banks that issued these cards worked with international services via other Russian banks. Now those are sanctioned. Forget about  iHerb, Next, Asos, Amazon and many others. First of all, maps. Second, delivery to Russia. You were dreaming about the USSR – Soviet people never had that.
  7. “We want to remind you: keep your money in rubles. In the pile of rubles no one will look for them”. This is not a joke anymore. Russia has been blocked from SWIFT. Therefore export revenues cannot enter the country. Largest transport companies of the world are refusing to work with your country. Europe may refuse to buy even your “sacred cows” – oil and gas. No one wants to work with you. Will this hurt other countries? No, because Russia is just 2% of the world GDP. Soon this share will be much lower. Reserves of your central bank are frozen abroad. This may not impact the ruble exchange rate. In the USSR dollar was worth less than a ruble. However, no one was able to buy dollars. Soon you will not be able to do this too, there will be just no dollars in Russia.
  8. Automobile concerns stop production in their Russian plants as well as supplies to your country. You will not get any technologies, you will not have cars. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and other leading producers will not deliver their cars to Russia. USSR citizens had to get permissions and wait in line for years to buy a VAZ. 
  9. The situation with imported goods will be generally very bad. In the USSR one could buy jeans on the black market. Depending on the model jeans cost 120-180 rubles. In the late USSR jeans were sold in official shops – for 100 rubles. Any salary higher than 200 rubles was considered good in the USSR. Yes, you sew jeans in Russia. But will you be able to sew them without imports? In the USSR so-called “original” jeans were shipped mostly by sailors who bought them abroad. Many countries of the world have already banned access to their ports for Russian ships. Thus, smuggling will be a problem. Naturally, you can solve it. But if you pay a half of your salary for jeans, who will be able to buy an iPhone? Import replacement program which your country has been promulgating since 2014 is not implemented. You spent trillions of rubles but you cannot do without imports. Thus, you will be eating less and worse. Add here the army that is struggling at the hostile territory. You need to feed your soldiers or they will die not from bullets. 
  10. Everything will be “Vkontakte”. Antipathy of Russia and global social networks is mutual. Facebook, TikTok and other networks block propaganda channels of Russian state-owned media. Russia in response limits traffic. Suggestions of Russian politicians to completely block, for example, Facebook, sound ever louder. They don’t want to hear you. And perhaps you don’t have anything to say.
  11.  A catastrophe for freelancers. Many foreign companies simply refuse to work with Russians. And don’t forget about cards. If your card is still working, this means that your bank is still not on the sanction list. PayPal? Gone. Company banned transfers to the cards of Russian banks.
  12. Russian big sport is dead. Football national teams and clubs cannot take part in FIFA and UEFA competitions. And even without this very few are willing to play with you. National football teams of England, Poland, Sweden… These are just a few of those who announced that they would not play with the Russian national team. Why do they do this? Would you be willing to play with a German team in 1946? 
  13. Premiers of new foreign movies? At home. Via the VPN or via torrents if you manage. After the Walt Disney, Warner Brothers studio cancelled showing “Batman” in Russia. Due to the situation in Ukraine Sony Pictures also cancels premiers of their movies in Russia. Top studios simply don’t want to show their movies to you. Paramount pictures also prohibited distribution in Russia.  

You wanted back to the USSR. You are back. However, the USSR had an economy, however ugly and  distorted. Russia already has no economy. And it will not have any. Answer a simple question: Russia attacked Ukraine for what?


The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations