Friday, July 16, 2010

A Glimpse Into Russia

The dealings with the spy ring recently have given us a good view of what is going on inside of Putin's Russia. In particular this piece about Anna Chapman is very telling. Not so much for the spy talk, but rather for what the Duma has become, and what life as a Russian looks like under the reign of Vladimir Putin.

Rather than politicians, the Duma is now increasingly being filled with celebrities (and at least one terrorist) meant to help enforce the positive image of Putin, the man who now clearly has almost sole power over all of Russia's decisions.

How depressing that Russia has sunk to this. It is such a far cry from the hope for true progressive freedom that so many Russians held when I was last there, ten years ago. It was said at that time by many that Russia needed a benevolent dictator who would guide the country through the intial years of progress. So many areas of Russian life were so chaotic at that point. Sadly, with Putin's record it seems they recieved the dictator, but not the benevolence.

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