In today's Russia, traditional forms of employment with stable wages and a more or less transparent system of social security have given way to shadow-market-style labor relations with badly documented part-time jobs and nontransparent methods of remuneration.
All the colonial empires of the 20th century have given way to young nation-states and to a new kind of relations between a capital and its former colonies, yet official Russia goes on shedding tears about its disintegrated empire.
The bicontinental nature of Russia is reflected in its national symbol, a double-headed eagle looking in two directions. That eagle finds itself in a precarious spot now that it must look around for as many non-Western partners and openings for business as possible.
Only a few economists in Russia seem to stress the importance of understanding the impact of the current mass outflow of capital and the sharp deterioration of the situation in world commodity markets.