Putin Claims in Perspective
Putin’s goal of making Russia one of the top five economies in the world  may be good politics but no one should confuse it for a realistic prospect. It certainly does not herald a shift in the international power structure. For anyone who feels that they might start hyperventilating, look at Russia’s 2010 GDP (it ranked 10th, behind Canada and just in front of India). Getting some more context, Russia would need to overtake France (currently #5) and outpace India (hot on Russia’s tail at #11 and not beset by Russia’s demographic woes). Comparing the growth of these countries, one sees that Russia would need to roughly double its GDP while France held relatively constant.