Recent Russian parliamentary elections were blatantly rigged. Putin’s ruling party got just under 50%. This shows his regime is not only corrupt but incompetent.
Oh, for the good old days of Soviet elections, with their solid 99% results!
Now thousands are on the streets protesting and demanding change. Putin not long ago said that anyone so demonstrating should – should – expect to have their heads whacked.
Like the good mafia don he is, Putin does rule by whacking. The list of pesky journalists and lawyers who’ve been murdered grows ever longer. Each time Medvedev, the puppet president, solemnly declares the perpetrators will be found and punished. Of course they never are.
Medvedev also keeps giving platitudinous speeches about the need for democracy, reform, modernization, etc., while Putin chortles mordantly behind the curtain.
Now the puppet will be whisked away and the puppet master will reoccupy center stage. Despite all Russia’s political roiling, and the anemic (and phony at that) 50% vote for Putin’s party, in upcoming presidential elections there’s no sign that a candidate opposing Putin will even be allowed on the ballot.
Putin runs a gangster regime whose total raison d’etre is power and lucre. Oil and gas revenues substitute for any genuine economic development. This Putinism was exemplified by the affair of Yukos Oil, once actually Russia’s most modernized and transparent enterprise. That didn’t save Yukos from being effectively stolen by Putin’s kleptocracy, with Yukos’s leader Khodorkovsky tossed into a Siberian prison (on absurd charges) where he remains. (See my 4/25/10 post.)
This is not what Communism was overthrown for – any more than Communism was what Czarism was overthrown for.
Poor Russia. It’s said that Russians are by nature obtuse and servile, caring nothing for politics, accepting autocracy so long as they’re merely fed. What rubbish. Russians have been endlessly beaten down. But haven’t we learned that nothing can finally beat the humanity out of people?
Workers of Russia arise! You have nothing to lose but your chains!