Intoxicated by high oil prices: Political Dutch disease afflicting the Kremlin

There were two leaders in Soviet history who were strongly influenced by specific national achievements. For Joseph Stalin, it was the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 and the first test of a nuclear bomb in 1949. For Nikita Khrushchev, success came with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin in 1961.Encouraged by these accomplishments, both leaders turned a blind eye to the country’s economic weaknesses and brazenly defied the US and its allies. The triumphs also boosted the moods of the ruling elite and the majority of the population. During these periods, the country as a whole enjoyed a heightened level of confidence and a sense of ideolo...

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