Daily Archives: April 3, 2010

EDITORIAL: The Breathtaking Failure of Vladimir Putin

Putin is forlornly calling out: "Mahatmaaa . . ." Source: Ellustrator.

EDITORIAL

The Breathtaking Failure of Vladimir Putin

Our issue today contains two brilliant, highly insightful essays from the mainstream press documenting in breathtaking detail how the recent Moscow subway bombings have exposed the total failure of the Putin regime in Russia. No fair-minded person who reads this commentary can come to any conclusion other than that a Russia led by Putin, utterly unqualified to run a major economy in  a supposedly democratic country, is doomed.  And we back this up even further with a third essay exposing the downfall of Russia’s most potent economic engine, Gazprom.

Much as we admire this analysis, however, we think that the two most telling facts about the bombings were left out of the picture, so we’d like to add them back in.

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Piontkovsky on the Rise and Fall of Vladimir Putin

The always-brilliant and courageous Andrei Piontkovsky, Russian political scientist and a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, writing on the Taipei Times:

The history of authoritarian rule in Russia displays a certain depressing regularity. Such regimes rarely perish from external shocks or opposition pressure. As a rule, they die unexpectedly from some internal disease — from irresistible existential disgust at themselves, from their own exhaustion.

Czarist rule withstood many harsh tests during its long history: peasant revolts, conspiracies and the alienation of the educated class.

In January 1917, from his Swiss exile, Lenin noted with bitterness and hopelessness that: “We, the old, will hardly live till the decisive battles of that forthcoming revolution. But … the young maybe will be lucky not only to fight, but finally win in the approaching proletarian revolution.”

By the following March, however, Czar Nicolas II was forced to abdicate.

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Did somebody say “Samizdat”? Putin says: “Nyet!”

The indispensable Paul Goble reports:

In what one wishes were only an April Fools’ joke, the Russian interior ministry is reportedly preparing legislation that would require the registration of all copiers, a step sources there say is needed to combat counterfeiting but one that opposition groups fear is designed to limit their ability to communicate with the population.

Rossiskaya Gazeta has reported that the MVD plans to seek approval for a plan to require the licensing and registration of all copying machines imported from abroad, to enter that information in a data base, and thus be in a position to combat a rising tide of counterfeiting, most often of 1,000 ruble notes. Last year alone, sources at the interior ministry said, the Bank of Russia seized and took out of circulation 155,200 counterfeit bills. Fighting such counterfeiting is increasingly expensive, the sources said, and the MVD has decided that it is “logical to establish tight control over the use” of copiers of various kinds.

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Russia is Doomed in the Caucasus

Looks like New York Post columnist Ralph Peters has been boning up on Russia right here at La Russophobe. His latest column tells the world that Russia is doomed in the Caucasus, and Vladimir Putin’s leadership is an utter disaster. Most crucially, he delivers an unambiguous warning about the dangers posed to the next Winter Olympics:

It’s been an embarrassing week for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, prime minister and de facto czar.

On Monday, Islamist suicide bombers struck just a rifle shot from the Kremlin. The worst of the two subway bombings rubbed ex-KGB man Putin’s nose in it by slaughtering dozens in the Lyubanka station — named for the notorious security-service headquarters upstairs. And the day after the two blasts killed 39 (with twice that many hospitalized), Islamist terrorists renewed their bombing campaign in Russia’s Muslim republic of Daghestan, next to battered (Muslim) Chechnya.

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Gazprom and Putin, on their Knees

Streetwise Professor reports:

A recent FT had a fascinating article on Gazprom.   Many of the company’s challenges are well known: declining production, reduced demand in Europe, increased world supplies, pressure on its traditional pricing mechanism.  What makes the FT article particularly interesting is its extended discussion of the internal domestic challenges to the company’s dominance.  Challenges led by your fave and mine, Igor Sechin.  (If, as the one State Department intelligence guy told me, Lavrov is fascinating in the same way a tarantula is fascinating, in what way is Sechin fascinating?  One shudders at the thought.)

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