Until just a few years ago, everyone had written Russian off. The country was doomed to permanent economic decline, structural decay, and insignificance. Most Western analysts and editorials could barely conceal their glee as they called on Russia to "get real" about its fate, and to adjust accordingly. The thinking was that so long as Russia resisted fundamental Westernization, the rapid decline would continue.
Today, it's a different story. Instead of being represented as a pitiful basket case, Russia is now a cash-flush, resource-rich menace. Its economy has been booming for over six straight years. And it's emerged as a gas and oil powerhouse, so much so that the West now feels threatened by Russia. It's reached the point where free-market-devotee Great Britain recently blocked a perfectly legitimate attempt by Gazprom to buy out its largest energy supplier, Centrica. Why? Because they're afraid.
Indeed, state-controlled Gazprom is poised to become the largest company in the world by market capitalization.
Who could have imagined such a thing just a few years ago?
Это не я писал, хотя мог бы. Впрочем, я писал круче, примерно на ту же тему (хи-хи):