Piter Drives the Final Nail into its Own Coffin
Before Vladimir Putin came along, the city of St. Petersburg, Russia enjoyed a national and even an international reputation for enlightenment. It was called Russia’s “window on the West” and it was famous for citizens who had a broader world view, a more democratic inclination, who were more civilized and intelligent than ordinary Russians.
But Putin, a native of Piter, changed all that. From the moment the world learned how he shamelessly plagiarized his dissertation at an elite Piter university, it became clear that Piter was just like every other rotten place in Russia under the skin. When it remained just as silent as the rest of the country (or cheered even louder) as its native son seized power in Moscow, filled the Kremlin halls with proud KGB spies and began a relentless neo-Soviet crackdown, the world saw the true St. Petersburg.
And nothing could have better confirmed Piter’s wretched barbarism than the recent election campaign of former governor and Putin lackey Valentina Matvienko for a local legislative post in the city, one she needed so Putin could appoint her to the Federation Council and name her speaker.
Matvienko is hated in Piter the same way Yeltsin was hated in Russia, so she had no chance at all to win a real election. For that reason, the Kremlin didn’t even try to hold one. It arrested anyone who spoke out against her (including a former first deputy prime minister), and it seized any newspaper that dared to criticize her. Then it shamelessly excluded any rivals from the ballot and stuffed the ballot boxes in her favor. The result was that one of the least popular political figures in all of Russia won in a landslide.
And what did the “enlightened” people of Piter do while all this was happening?Did they go to the streets? Did they prove their love for country? No, they remained in craven, cowardly silence, turning a blind eye while the Kremlin inflicted Matvienko on the nation as a whole.
It’s more than a little ironic that all this happens just as Piter is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the siege of Leningrad. The city will congratulate itself on the bravery and heroism it showed against the Nazis in World War II, but it will not notice that for all that appears Piter’s will was broken long ago. Now, it is little more than the lapdog of Vladimir Putin.
So the illusion of an enlightened Piter has been shattered. Piter gave the world Vladimir Putin, and now it has given Vladimir Putin Valentina Matvienko. Piter has shown the world that it is just another part of Russia, just another cog in the neo-Soviet machine of dictatorship.
Piter must hang its head in shame.