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Is russia still a big player

This is a discussion on Is russia still a big player within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; China is in for an interesting time of things in the next twenty or thirty years then ? Their population ...


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Old September 29th, 2012   #31
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China is in for an interesting time of things in the next twenty or thirty years then ? Their population is going to age *dramatically* due to that one child per couple ruling, and their ratio of boys to girls is looking incredibly poor in many areas - some schools have a ratio of 7 boys to 1 girl for instance.

I assume at some point that one child rule will be relaxed or dismissed entirely, but that still will create a tremendous pressure for migration into China, in the same sense and for the same reason that Europe experienced this. I'm thinking of some areas in rural Italy for instance where the greater proportion of residents are immigrants from outside the EU, simply because the villages and towns would disappear without them.

Interesting times ahead for sure.

Back on topic with Russia, they've a fairly distorted military composed of a lot of kit that's redundant, way more nuclear weapons than they need, but they're gradually working their way to a more balanced capability. Economically, they're stymied by massive and endemic corruption in terms of the legal system and that's going to put off foreign investment and make trade difficult.


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Old September 29th, 2012   #32
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Russia is still a powerful country may be we can put it in regional power category. It poses huge arms and arms manufacturing industry, vast reserve of hydrocarbons, above all huge food grain production and very large armed forces. After the dissolution of Soviet Union the Russian federation contained its sphere of influence in to the breakaway republics of Soviet Union. It took 15 years to resurge the Russians in to international foray now they are expanding their sphere of influence from central Asia and Caucasus in the south Asian and west Asian region. They have wonderful relationship with India and now they cajoling with Pakistan to foothold in to the south Asia. There unbendable stand on Syrian issue is a clear sign of their new found confidence. So Russia has resurged from the doldrums of dismemberment of Soviet Union and the time will witness the Russian tough stand on different international forums
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Old October 12th, 2012   #33
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Indeed it is!

IMHO Russia can still be a game-changer, especially in the political battle for Arctic! Just recently Russian Armed Forces flexed their military muscles:

"On 27 September 2012 Russian naval, land and air forces completed major joint military maneuvers in the north-western part of the country. Over 7,000 personnel, more than 20 ships and submarines, 30 planes and helicopters were involved in the pace of the drill. Military servicemen from the Western Military District practiced the scenarios of countering enemy attacks from sea, protecting civilian ships that pass through the Northern Sea Route from pirates, and performing rescue missions in the Arctic environment.
Special attention was paid to exercising the measures of civilian infrastructure protection. This included the deployment of marine units to remote areas by submarines and ships. Their task was to land on to a hasty coastal area of operations and defend industrial and research facilities situated there with the support from a combined arms brigade of the Western Military District.
During the final day of the exercise surface ships and submarines had performed several launches of cruise missiles that successfully hit training targets.
According to military experts, such hostilities are not likely to happen in the foreseen future, considering current political situation in the world. Such developments of Russian policy in the areas of military capabilities development take into account the expanding militarization of the Arctic region and the principle of “what if…?”.
As long as foreign states or alliances retain and develop their military capabilities in the Arctic Region, Russian armed forces will prepare for a possible use of military means to counter the activities of separate terrorist groups as well as the actions of foreign forces."

So in the existing 'game of thrones', where the US, Russia and China try to develop effective non-nuclear strategic weapons, all players are really big.
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Old November 25th, 2012   #34
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Assessing Russia’s Military Reforms: A Bridge Too Far? | SLDInfo

On paper Russia has formidable capabilities andtpeople's attention is naturally drawn to the high-profile weapons programs like the new-generation aircraft, subs, ICBMs, etc while there is a less flattering picture behind the scenes. It's much less capable of projecting power away from the homeland and the structural reforms being implemented are still a long way off from being achieved.
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Old November 26th, 2012   #35
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The article seems out of date.

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The transformation of the unit structure from divisions to brigades has been criticized for having insufficient command, reconnaissance and logistics components.
The insufficient command elements were due to a lack of modern command and control gear, that required more people to lead a unit. Targeted purchases and induction of modern C4I elements have massively improved the situation in South MD, and similar changes will likely take place in other districts over the next decade. The recon issue was because 1) there were no UAVs in T.O. MRBdes, and 2) because a single recon company was insufficient. Since then the Grusha UAV has been procured in increasing numbers and while it's not nearly universally widespread, it's only a matter of time. Also the recon companies have been expanded into full-size recon btlns in each MRBde. Iirc tank brigades still have companies, but they're much smaller and more compact units to begin with. The same thing happened with the logistical component, where MTO companies have been expanded into full sized btlns, per brigade.

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housing shortages persist and were cited as one reason for Serdyukov’s dismissal.
The housing issue isn't so much one of shortages, as poor location for housing (which retired officers often decline to accept, opting to wait for a better choice now that it's become clear that more housing will be available). It also does not appear to be related to Serdyukov's dismissal. The huge corruption scandals surrounding OAO Oboronservis, which handles the outsourcing for the Russian Army is.

The more fundamental mistake is that the article seems to think that Serdyukov is the man behind the reforms. This is simply not the case. The reforms were an amalgam of late-Soviet plans for mobile brigades, and the tactical experience gained since then in the two Chechen wars, and in Georgia, with the brigades being almost exact copies of the common battalion and regimental tactical groupings used during those conflicts. The reforms were planned and carried out by a group of high-ranking officers from General HQ. Serdyukov was there to carefully monitor and oversee spending. His appointment was necessary because prior to that the defense budget rose drastically, but the money literally disappeared into the black hole that was the Russian military. He was a civilian with experience in managing finances, and his real task was to make sure money was being spent on properly.

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The individual reform initiatives seemed logical, but the overall framework was nebulous. The MOD was never able to publish a white paper describing Russia’s military reforms and their underlying logic and goals.

In part, this opaque approach may have been a deliberate tactic to decrease resistance by concealing the full extent of the reform program, but the resulting confusion led many officers to wonder whether their civilian leaders really had a well-thought out plan or were just experimenting through trial-and-error techniques.
There was indeed an initial comprehensive reform plan. The problem was that the plan turned out to be flawed. This is quite unsurprising given the extremely muddled state of affairs inside the Russian military at the time, and the abysmal state of Russian military science. The ad hoc initiatives that the article references were essentially course corrections implemented during the reform in order to adjust to the realities. In other words it wasn't so much intentional trial and error, as an attempt to adjust on the fly. The reforms being incredibly massive were only possible if carried out swiftly, given the tremendous inertia and bureaucratic resistance in Russian in general, and the Russian military in particular.

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Putin’s stated reason for removing Serdyukov was to allow an investigation to proceed unhindered regarding whether Serdyukov and favored subordinates were exploiting the large-scale sale of MOD property to acquire valuable state property at unreasonably low prices.

This process was reminiscent of the worst abuses of the Yeltsin years, when the presidential administration would misuse privatization to reward favored entrepreneurs with ownership of Soviet-era corporations for a pittance.
Obvious and unsurprising. However on some level almost unavoidable. The military was, and still is, sitting on huge property, stockpiles of weapons, land, structures, etc. that are plain useless, and the maintenance of which eats funds. It needed to be sold off, and given the state of affairs in Russia there was no way that wasn't going to be accompanied by corruption. Given that it's unclear on what level the corruption occurred (quantity wise) it's hard to say whether it could have been reduced significantly.

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Shortly before retiring, Serdyukov confirmed that the MOD would have to retain conscription indefinitely since the government could not afford to employ only more-expensive professional soldiers serving under contract. Instead, the MOD will hire contractors for positions that require either special skills and training or a long-term service commitment, such as for members for the Navy, Strategic Missile Forces, and other military specialties requiring the skilled and highly readily professionals, but the Army will consist almost entirely of conscripted soldiers. The major exception is the newly restructured Russian noncommissioned officer (NCO) corps, which remains a work in progress.
This piece is downright inaccurate, possibly out of date. As it stands the plan is for contract soldiers to massively outnumber conscripts by 2020. Current plans call for an extra 50 000 contract soldiers every year, while the numbers of conscripts will decline naturally as conscription age enters into the demographic hole of the early 90s. If current plans are realized there will be 425 000 contract soldiers by 2017, with something like 170 000 conscripts.

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The MOD’s plans for the number of NCOs and other professional contract soldiers they wanted to assist the regular officers have constantly changed. In the 1990s, the civilian economy was bad, so the military could recruit large numbers of good people at a modest cost.
Contract service during the 90s was minimal. Current contract service can be traced back to the Second Chechen War, followed by the Federal Targeted Program of 2003-2008.

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The poor quality of conscripts means that “combat-ready” mobile brigades in reality are capable of deploying only several tactical battalion groups—perhaps some 10,000 men—to a conflict zone. The Russian Army’s maneuverability is constrained by the lack of common equipment used by mobile brigades stored in various central storage bases. Ideally, after being transported by aircraft to their place of embarkation, troops should receive familiar equipment from a base not far from a destination point.
As it stands that concept seems to have been abandoned. Units will deploy with their own stock of gear to any conflict zone. There seems to be some attempt to improve strategic mobility by investing more heavily into heavy lift and transport aircraft. However it remains to be seen whether this will solve the issue. As it stands each major theater has it's own grouping of forces that are expected to fight the opening phases of a local conflict on their own.

In other words this article seems very confused and out of date, not to mention in some cases inaccurate historically. However it's right about it's main thesis, and it's that the new structure has yet to be optimized or sufficiently battle-tested. Changes will continue, and over the next decade lots of new units will be formed, as the increasing number of contract personnel will increase total numbers of service members.
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Old December 21st, 2012   #36
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First of all i wonder where the question comes from?
I mean how can Russia not be a major player?

We all talk about army and power projection to measure the power a nation has, but look at what Russia has been doing for the past 25 years?
They did come from a very long way after the collapse, and without much trouble they always remained in a global noticeable position where it could do what it wanted without having Uncle Sam breathing down their necks.

It is true that Russia failed (In western eyes) in many ways but on the other hand as being a EU based person i can say that the influence of Russia is anything but small.
Look at their incredible resources and economic efforts the past years and its clearly that they are shifting from a military influence to a more economic influence which is IMO rather effective.
And even if Russia is importing weapons from foreign partners, it proves that they recognize that outside the Russian industry there are solid weapon systems who are on par with their demands and a hell of a lot cheaper then maintaining their own industry. So who is not buying their stuff abroad?.

My point is it really does not matter much if Russia is a military super power, or a economic super power or even a regional power for that matter, their size as a nation, their veto right in the UN and their sway over the EU and to a smaller extend to US and Chinese/India's politics should put them right into the spot of being a super power.
I am not a hard line PRO west or PRO east but there are a few names on the world stage who always have been and will be labeled as a "power" and Russia has been and always will be on of those names.
That said gives time the economic importance of Russia will rise a lot specially with a power hungry EU and China as neighbors, do not forget the natural resources that Russia has, and their rather low prizes compared to western counterparts while still being regarded as technological good will surely enable Russia to do anything they wish to do, if time and planning is being taken care of.
Short said they might look a bit shaky and they do have loads of internal issues, but economic speaking they can and probably will draw enough money and "power" in time to rebuild their army and other aspects to return to a more visible "power" status, afteral with the economy cooling down even more in the west it really leaves a big gap that they might be able to jump into.
And this would seriously boost Russia's longterm efforts.

So let me google that question for you: Is Russia a super power? Hell yes.
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Old December 21st, 2012   #37
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First of all i wonder where the question comes from?
My thoughts exactly ! [no offence to the person who started the thread]

My personal opinion is that as long as Russia has enough nukes to take out the world and as long as the only superpower and NATO pay extreme attention and concern to what Russia is doing, then YES Russia is a major 'player'.
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Old December 22nd, 2012   #38
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The question came from a fraud claiming to be an intelligence officer who was going around the forums asking the kind of questions you'd expect from a teenager. Thus, he is no longer with us.
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Old December 22nd, 2012   #39
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The question came from a fraud claiming to be an intelligence officer who was going around the forums asking the kind of questions you'd expect from a teenager. Thus, he is no longer with us.
So you guys did ur clean up round then? Well nice.
Frauds have one way to go and thats the exit way.
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Old December 31st, 2012   #40
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Russia is a big uncertainty at present but with whichever scenario Russia will definitely be a regional power.
1- Gas influence on EU and CIS countries
2- Eurasian economic integrations.. etc.
3- Strong military

Not a global power: (compared to US and major players)
1- Small overall economy.
2- Small population.
3- Inability to project military power and sustain deployment in conflict areas oversees.
4- Too many problems to deal with before going global (NATO push, terrorism, breakaway regions and China's rise).
5- With the fall of the soviets Russia does not have an idea to fight for globally nor to draw supporters for
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Old December 31st, 2012   #41
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Small economy? Compared to what? The US and China? Ok. Germany and Japan? Not that small. Who are we comparing to here?
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Old December 31st, 2012   #42
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Small economy? Compared to what? The US and China? Ok. Germany and Japan? Not that small. Who are we comparing to here?
Today Russia's GDP is small in comparison with China, USA.
Russia's GDP is ranked 9th world wide. and around 6th in PPP. Economy is dependent on commodities. Industry is mostly oriented towards the domestic market with foothold in CIS countries.
Japan's GDP is three times that of Russia
German GDP is twice the GDP of Russia

Japan, Germany and China are all resource poor countries.

Russia is a strong player but can only afford to do so regionally. With the rise of China and NATO's and EU push. Russia may find itself squeezed if it doesn't play its cards right.
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Old December 31st, 2012   #43
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Today Russia's GDP is small in comparison with China, USA.
Russia's GDP is ranked 9th world wide. and around 6th in PPP. Economy is dependent on commodities. Industry is mostly oriented towards the domestic market with foothold in CIS countries.
Japan's GDP is three times that of Russia
German GDP is twice the GDP of Russia

Japan, Germany and China are all resource poor countries.

Russia is a strong player but can only afford to do so regionally. With the rise of China and NATO's and EU push. Russia may find itself squeezed if it doesn't play its cards right.
You seem to forget that Germany is NOT a resource low country and Japan is neither.
The industrial development within the 2 mentioned countries is multiple times higher then most parts of Russia.
Simply put Russia is investing heavy in modern industry, and even more in logistics to get their resources from point a to b.
This will cost money and ALOT of it, and it will cost a big chunk of time.
So where Germany and Japan have a economic edge over Russia thanks to their established industry, Russia on the other hand is picking up speed.
Let the GDP and PPP values not fool you ok?
Also China will in time overtake the US and EU combined in terms of economy as they are doing their parts on a increasing more technological industry and infrastructure, as many analysts state.
Then you got India, and Brazil (Thanks to its massive resources and increasing industry) who are rising fast and notably Nigeria (Thanks to their oil fields)
So does the question might be will Russia become a top 5 player? I am not sure, but fact is that the current list of big economic names is shaking and new names will pop up.
And in terms of Economic possibilities Russia has one of the best cards in the deck to rise sharply.
The nation is huge, and it has by far one of the biggest resource pool next to Canada to draw from.

And nowadays where US, EU and China/India become increasingly more hungry for natural resources and fossil fuels it is clearly that Russia will benefit from this in a massive way.
And you can see that clearly in their development efforts where they invest astronomical amounts of money into those industries.
And having the EU and China as one of their biggest clients for oil, and gas it becomes painfully clear that this will bring cash into the treasury for a long time to come.

Anyway GDP and PPP are just numbers, who do display a snap shot and a sneak peak in todays economic results of a nation, but what it does not take into account are the long term effects of current investments.
If you look at economic magazines and info sources then you will see that the amount of import and export in Russia over the years did rise sharply, but at the same time it did halt to a more durable level, however their resources and industry output tripled in the past 10 years so hence why they investing so hard in the infrastructure.
If those figures meet each other on paper then Russia's GDP will sky rock.
Anyone on this forum can tell you that.
Also question needs to be asked if Russia wants to grow as fast as China? keep in mind China is regarded as a bubble while Russia's economy is much slower but more durable and has IMO more stamina.
So if Russia would bubble they might risk another collapse, and if i where Russia i would not go there.
So hence why their figures are rather small, compared to their real figures.

Just my few cents here.
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Old December 31st, 2012   #44
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You seem to forget that Germany is NOT a resource low country and Japan is neither.
The industrial development within the 2 mentioned countries is multiple times higher then most parts of Russia.
Simply put Russia is investing heavy in modern industry, and even more in logistics to get their resources from point a to b.
This will cost money and ALOT of it, and it will cost a big chunk of time.
So where Germany and Japan have a economic edge over Russia thanks to their established industry, Russia on the other hand is picking up speed.
Let the GDP and PPP values not fool you ok?
Also China will in time overtake the US and EU combined in terms of economy as they are doing their parts on a increasing more technological industry and infrastructure, as many analysts state.
Then you got India, and Brazil (Thanks to its massive resources and increasing industry) who are rising fast and notably Nigeria (Thanks to their oil fields)
So does the question might be will Russia become a top 5 player? I am not sure, but fact is that the current list of big economic names is shaking and new names will pop up.
And in terms of Economic possibilities Russia has one of the best cards in the deck to rise sharply.
The nation is huge, and it has by far one of the biggest resource pool next to Canada to draw from.

And nowadays where US, EU and China/India become increasingly more hungry for natural resources and fossil fuels it is clearly that Russia will benefit from this in a massive way.
And you can see that clearly in their development efforts where they invest astronomical amounts of money into those industries.
And having the EU and China as one of their biggest clients for oil, and gas it becomes painfully clear that this will bring cash into the treasury for a long time to come.

Anyway GDP and PPP are just numbers, who do display a snap shot and a sneak peak in todays economic results of a nation, but what it does not take into account are the long term effects of current investments.
If you look at economic magazines and info sources then you will see that the amount of import and export in Russia over the years did rise sharply, but at the same time it did halt to a more durable level, however their resources and industry output tripled in the past 10 years so hence why they investing so hard in the infrastructure.
If those figures meet each other on paper then Russia's GDP will sky rock.
Anyone on this forum can tell you that.
Also question needs to be asked if Russia wants to grow as fast as China? keep in mind China is regarded as a bubble while Russia's economy is much slower but more durable and has IMO more stamina.
So if Russia would bubble they might risk another collapse, and if i where Russia i would not go there.
So hence why their figures are rather small, compared to their real figures.

Just my few cents here.
1- Germany has some coal.. Japan.. pretty much nothing
2- Bubbling economy: Russia was hit by the global financial crisis much worse than China. China is an export based economy. They are making heavy shifts to drive the growth inwards.
3- If Russians manage their economy correctly of course their economy will explode but so far there are very shy movements.
4- Do you know it is cheaper to transport soja from Brazil to russia than to buy from within russia? China's infrastructure is much better than Russia's
5- I do not see any ladas driven in europe, middle east ... plenty of korean cars though. I am not aware of any cooling compressors from russia. no CNC machines from russia. No slaughterhouse from russia. No meat grinder from russia. No computer from russia. No cell phone from russia. No swimming goggles from russia. No sunglasses from russia. No international fashion brand from russia. No international ice cream company from russia etc. How do you expect russia to be a global power with the current trend?!

In summary if russia develops correctly. focuses on quality and enters the global market with consumer products, it will have a chance of becoming a major player.

Currently and for the forseable future 5-10 years russia will be a regional power with significant influence in (Eastern europe and CIS Asian states)
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Old December 31st, 2012   #45
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1- Germany has some coal.. Japan.. pretty much nothing
2- Bubbling economy: Russia was hit by the global financial crisis much worse than China. China is an export based economy. They are making heavy shifts to drive the growth inwards.
3- If Russians manage their economy correctly of course their economy will explode but so far there are very shy movements.
4- Do you know it is cheaper to transport soja from Brazil to russia than to buy from within russia? China's infrastructure is much better than Russia's
5- I do not see any ladas driven in europe, middle east ... plenty of korean cars though. I am not aware of any cooling compressors from russia. no CNC machines from russia. No slaughterhouse from russia. No meat grinder from russia. No computer from russia. No cell phone from russia. No swimming goggles from russia. No sunglasses from russia. No international fashion brand from russia. No international ice cream company from russia etc. How do you expect russia to be a global power with the current trend?!

In summary if russia develops correctly. focuses on quality and enters the global market with consumer products, it will have a chance of becoming a major player.

Currently and for the forseable future 5-10 years russia will be a regional power with significant influence in (Eastern europe and CIS Asian states)
I see what you say buddy but ones word: Logistics
Thats the bottleneck within the Russian economy at this point.

Russia Exports
Exports in Russia decreased to 44800 USD Million in November of 2012 from 46052 USD Million in October of 2012. Exports in Russia is reported by the Central Bank of Russia. Historically, from 1994 until 2012, Russia Exports averaged 18565.57 USD Million reaching an all time high of 51338 USD Million in December of 2011 and a record low of 4087 USD Million in January of 1994. Russia is the fifth largest economy in the world and is a leading exporter of oil and natural gas. In Russia, services are the biggest sector of the economy and account for 58 percent of GDP. Within services the most important segments are: wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods (17 percent of total GDP); public administration, health and education (12 percent); real estate (9 percent) and transport storage and communications (7 percent). Industry contributes 40 percent to total output. Mining (11 percent of GDP), manufacturing (13 percent) and construction (4 percent) are the most important industry segments. Agriculture accounts for the remaining 2 percent.


Just a figure which says it all.
Give them time and you see.
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