William Wynner, D.Sc. Professor


To demonstrate to the Western readers the range of economic Russian myths designed to convince the West of the stability and invincibility of the Putin regime, reduce support for Ukraine and sow confusion in the minds of representatives of the political elite and ordinary citizens.


Almost from the first days of the invasion of Ukraine, leading representatives of the Russian government have been trying to convince others of the more global nature of the war. This is, if not the Third World War, then definitely a war between Russia and the West.

This idea is conveyed both by President Putin himself and by numerous “imperials” from his circle. The Russian Empire 2.0 / Soviet Union 2.0, rising from the ashes (we emphasize that so far only in the imagination of Putin and his associates) seeks to create problems not only for the countries of the “near belt”, i.e. former Soviet republics, but also NATO countries and the entire European Union as a whole.

One of the tools of intimidation and manipulation of both the political elites of the West and ordinary citizens are numerous myths about the power of invincibility of Russia, which are broadcast in abundance by Russian propaganda 24/7/360.

The core of the new Russian mythology is the myth of Russia’s economic “unsinkability”, which allows it not only to withstand Western sanctions, but also to wage war in Ukraine, as well as carry out operations to destabilize the West.


The basic components of this myth are the pathetic statements of representatives of the Russian leadership about the phenomenal growth of the Russian economy. President Putin voiced the thesis about the leading positions of the Russian economy. According to the Kremlin, Russia ranks first in economic development in Europe, surpassing even Germany. According to Kremlin analysts, Russia has also overtaken Japan and is now in fourth place in the world in terms of economic potential [1].

This component is supported by the statement about Russia’s resistance to Western sanctions and the exponential growth of production based on “import substitution” [2].

Vladimir Putin's closest associates, for example, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev, declare the failure of the Western economic blitzkrieg against Russia [2].

The topic of Russia’s phenomenal stability in the economic sphere has already attracted the attention of a number of Western media [3, 4, 5, 6].

It is obvious that for economic survival under sanctions (and the list of sanctions against Putin’s Russia [7]), Russia needs loopholes to circumvent restrictions, which means the loyalty of partners and satellites, traditionally achieved through bribery, blackmail and threats.

In-depth research and analytical reports also question the “Putin’s economic miracle” [8].

The Russian government is declaring a sharp economic leap, largely due to the unprecedented military budget and the almost round-the-clock work of enterprises in the military-industrial complex.

At the same time, the civilian part of the Russian economy was practically curtailed. All Russian potential, both intellectual and industrial, is working for the war. The financial policy of the Central Bank only emphasizes the military accents of the Russian economy.

Due to the departure of Western companies, the population in Russia is experiencing a shortage of quality goods and medicines. The country, in fact, has turned into a huge market for “counterfeit goods”, supplied in abundance from China and Central Asian countries [9].

The population is mired in loans and expensive mortgages [10, 11, 12].

The rise in prices for fuel and food began to be acutely felt, and some vital products, for example, eggs, were completely in short supply [13, 14].


The real economic situation in Russia is revealed in an article by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at the Yale School of Management [15]. In Russia there has been a gigantic outflow of business from the country. The obsession with military programs led to the decline of entire industries, such as civil aviation. Against the backdrop of a declining population and an outflow of relocants, scientists, and IT specialists, there is an acute shortage of highly qualified personnel. Even at enterprises of the military-industrial complex, the labor shortage is 40% [16, 17, 18].

Galloping inflation depreciates citizens’ savings and forces them to seek income in war.


It is obvious that these indicators can cast doubt on the phenomenal success of the Russian economy. For the Kremlin, on the eve of the presidential elections, revealing the true state of affairs is completely unprofitable, so all the forces of Russian propaganda are being thrown into promoting large-scale myths about the “Putin’s economic miracle”.

Amid the ongoing war against Ukraine, Russia is seeking to undermine Western unity by posing a global challenge to the entire Western alliance.

The replication of myths about Russia’s economic power is intended to convince Western elites to make concessions to the Kremlin, including on the “Ukrainian issue” and to reduce assistance to Ukraine. At the same time, ordinary citizens are being instilled with fear of Russia, “historical complexes” are being revived, and a tendency towards the inevitability of a “march to the West” is being formed.

Economic mythology, combined with the openly subversive and propaganda activities of the Kremlin, is designed to undermine the foundations of Western stability, cause artificial managerial and infrastructural crises and destabilize the sphere of public security. The Russian economic myth is becoming a weapon like Gazprom or Rosneft.


  1. Герейханова А. Путин: У России первое место в Европе по экономике, хотя ее душат со всех сторон // Российская газета, 11 января 2024 г.
  2.  Патрушев заявил, что Запад объявил России беспрецедентную экономическую войну. По словам секретаря Совбеза РФ, экономический блицкриг провалился // ТАСС, 4 ноября 2023 г.
  3. Putin’s Potemkin economy //
  6. Andrzej Sienkiewicz. MITY ROSYJSKIEJ GOSPODARKI //
  8. Over 1,000 Companies Have Curtailed Operations in Russia—But Some Remain //
  9. Шамина О., Сафронова В. Жизнь взаймы. Как перегрелась российская экономика и чем это грозит // Би-би-си, 08 августа 2023 г. //
  10. БКС экспресс. Рубль: никогда такого не было //
  11. Шамина О. 100 рублей за доллар. Почему дешевеет российская валюта и что с этим делают власти? // Би-би-си, 14 августа 2023 г. //
  12. Блант М. «Кредиты подорожают для граждан и бизнеса». В России все деньги уходят на войну? // Радио Свобода, 01 ноября 2023 г. //
  13. Выжутович В. Экономист Николай Кульбака: Около половины бедных – это работающие люди. Причины этому лежат в монополизации российского рынка труда и низкой мобильности рабочей силы // Российская газета, 24 мая 2023 г.
  14. Блант М. «Кредиты подорожают для граждан и бизнеса». В России все деньги уходят на войну? // Радио Свобода, 01 ноября 2023 г. //
  15. Over 1,000 Companies Have Curtailed Operations in Russia—But Some Remain //
  16. Росстат зафиксировал снижение численности населения России до 146,204 млн // Интерфакс. ру, 26 января 2024 г.
  17. Число молодых ученых в России за 10 лет сократилось на 25% // Радио Свобода //
  18. Более 80% российских компаний ощущают кадровый голод// Коммерсант, 15 января 2024 г.