Is UFA Good For Russia Or Bad?
Despite its rather illustrious and historical tinge, the German-based UFA entertainment is a relatively young outfit, closely plugged into Bertelsmann, the worlds largest media conglomerate. Nevertheless, UFA is an established company, which prides itself on presenting reliable and unique content in digital form. The firm has thus invested a lot of time and money into the production of a range of high-quality sports books. The latest in this series is the hugely successful UFA 24h sports book. Despite its rather ambiguous name, it is clearly derived from UFA’s other sports-related projects, particularly the 24-hour FIFA channel. The project is run in partnership by UFA’s in-house magazine “Sportbrenz” and the German site kicker.
This particular book is one of a kind. In terms of length, it runs to 404 pages, including index. The book is produced in both English and German, with additional material including full-color pages and sections in Russian. A full roster of featured articles can be found at the website, which also includes a glossary and the book’s index. While most articles are written in English, there are a few in German.
In terms of format, the work is divided between interviews with prominent sports enthusiasts both German and Russian and correspondence with sport journalists based in the countries. In addition, an in-depth analysis of ufa sportbooks can be found in the author’s own words, as he takes the time to detail the various factors that affect the rates and profitability of such enterprises. Although there is no direct reference to the policies or objectives of ufa, it is clear that the author has his own take on various issues related to the organization, such as the possibility of nationalization (by a far-reaching government) of ufa theaters and the possibility of allowing foreign companies to take over ufa stakes once they become operational in Russia. Furthermore, the author discusses the impact of economic changes in the context of these changes, highlighting the potential impact of sanctions and their possible deterrent effect.
On the other side of the argument, some analysts believe that ufa is being manipulated by certain elements of the state. According to them, some ufa administrators are trying to co-opt the popular sectors of society and use them as pawns against the more dominant sectors of the economy. As a result, they argue that while ufa plays an important part in the Russian economy, it is also being manipulated by certain officials who wish to increase their share of the spoils in the ruble, which they believe will help them retain power. In fact, the Ministry of Economic development of Russia has publicly stated that it is looking forward to attract ufa businesses to Russia, which it sees as an alternative way of creating jobs for its citizens.
Whether or not the above assumptions are correct, one thing is clear: ufa is certainly important to the Russian economy. However, the success or failure of ufa depends solely on whether or not it is used wisely by officials or not. The author notes that in Russia, the authorities have traditionally used ufa to implement certain laws, such as the ones governing foreign ownership of property. He argues that the same approach should be applied to ufa, in order to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in Russian property, thereby creating jobs in the process. Ultimately, therefore, he believes that ufa is beneficial to Russia, but only as a form of carrot on a stick.
On the other hand, some analysts argue that ufa serves as a much more dangerous weapon for the Russian government. They note that the ban on ufa along with other restrictive measures taken by the government have made entrepreneurs feel helpless and remove any incentive to invest in Russia. This, in turn, has led to capital flight from Russia, which in turn resulted in a sharp drop in the overall price of rubles. Moreover, according to these analysts, ufa’s ban has negatively affected the functioning of the currency markets by severely reducing the number of legitimate traders. The ban has, they claim, resulted in the devaluation of rubles, causing a plunge in the national currency that will, in turn, affect the rest of the country’s economy, in a negative way. Ultimately, they add, such a move will lead to further problems, such as higher inflation, capital flight, and a weakening of the currency.