Well folks–now you know what I’ve known for a long time, the Russian Bear has returned in the guise of the little Napoleonic President Vladimir Putin, who dons his old KGB hat to let the masses know that his old antics of repression has returned to the motherland. Perhaps he sees himself as a savior! With his first hundred days in power since being reelected for the third time as Russia’s ruler, he has initiated a very real stifling of dissent. His twelve-year power hold on the former Soviet citizenry where he has followed a sincere belief in the POWER OF THE STATE and so much so, that he came to envision himself as a necessary defender of the State. One might say he plays an endgame like a chess master in protection against his perceived domestic enemies as well as foreign interlopers. Thus, any attack on his position in his rule is looked upon as an attack on the nation. It is possible that in witnessing the domino effect of falling middle east powers by rebels desirous of throwing off the chains of tyranny, he finds himself in that very role as a leader who must walk softly while carrying a big stick. He was very pleased to have overthrown the challenge by Garry Kasparov and company for rulership of the great Russia.
In his almost Tsar like approach to rule, he administered with help of the Duma, the very assembly whose disputed elections in December had sparked the Moscow protest movement of which former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov had put his hat in the ring to overthrow Putin’s influence as a major player. Turmoil boiled over with the likes of tough rally organizers, the internet sites were blocked under pretense of protecting the people, especially children, from supposed vice and corruption. Such a power grab by the government Putin justified as bringing modernizing Russian laws up to the international standards that liberal and socialist agendas have long aimed for. One can look at the Russian government today and see the dark shadows of the former Nazi Gestapo strong-armed thugs peeling away whatever freedoms the people enjoyed. Former public figures in both government and the news media are under the gun of communist tyranny. An unknown number of Putin foes have been jailed in pretrial isolation from having a voice in the public arena. That no longer exists.
I remember the days of the 1940s-50s when even in this country, the Soviet Justice System was highly praised by our government officials. The courts were held up before the world as a dream of decency and justice. That ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union where it was literally known less for justice than maintaining and upholding the legacies of the former Soviet Communist State.
Today we no longer have Kasparov’s influence with the people where he was greatly admired as was Karpov. But the winds of change, of disenchanted pockets that loom across the vastness of Russia, even to the very walls of Moscow is dangerous for Putin’s stepping down hard on the freedoms experienced by the Russian public. Certainly, there are those, especially those, who desire peace at any cost, even surrendering their freedom which the Russian people long were denied anyway–those who looked to uncle Stalin and company for a meager life existence. Much is being reverted to former times after a relatively brief experiment with self-determination and a form of republic/democratic tinkering.
Putin has drawn a line in the sand and has placed his hopes on reverting to crushing opposition rather than sharing with others some formula toward a dialogue of public and honest debate but such tyranny and violence can only lead to hardships for the Russian people. That is something too few have experienced or learned in the brief history of modern Russia.