EDITORIAL: The Darkness swallows Russia


The Darkness swallows Russia

The news out of Russia was bleak and morbid last week, even by Russian standards.  Even we, who are used to daily reporting the animalistic misconduct occurring in Putin’s Russia, are alarmed by the news now rolling out of this desperately-screwed up land.

Make no mistake:  This news threatens us as much as it does Russians themselves. Russia is a beast with nuclear fangs which can lash out at any moment against any one of us.

First, we learned that Russia had enacted a law that makes it legal for the KGB to preemptively arrest anyone they believe might commit a crime in the future, hold them in jail for up to two weeks and terrorize them into submission.  So-called “liberal president” Dima Medvedev supported the measure whole-heartedly.  As if to emphasize just how deadly serious this new statute really is, former first deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov was arrested days after it passed for daring to publicly criticize Putin.  And as if that were not enough, Russia’s highest governmental authority on democracy and human rights, Ella Pamfilova, was forced out of office over criticism of the Nashi youth cult.

All sensible Russians are terrified by the prospect of this dramatic escalation in the neo-Soviet crackdown.

Then, via the always essential Paul Goble, we read that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, himself a proud KGB spy, planned to undo the breakup of the KGB that was instituted by Boris Yeltsin as soon as he took power following the collapse of the USSR.  Yeltsin made it clear that it was critical to make sure the KGB could never again use its unfettered power to round up and massacre Russians by th millions.  Putin, apparently, sees those as the good old days.

If we did not care about Russia as much as we do, we would be rolling on the floor convulsed in laughter as those who claimed Russia could “never to back” to the horrifying darkness of Soviet totalitarianism are exposed as frauds and fools by these events.

But we do care, and so we weep as Russia turns once again towards darkness, failure and despair.

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