Moscow’s New Crypto-Fascist Scumbag
Deutsche-Welle, one of the best sources of reporting on Russia, has published a brilliant exposure piece on Sergei Sobyanin, the handpicked, unelected new mayor of the city of Moscow.
Here is what Sobyanin said after he was “elected” governor of Tyumen provience in 2000: “There is opposition, look! Only 24 out of 25 deputies have voted for me.” Such a remark could easily have been made by a stooge of the Soviet empire, and indeed quite often was. Now, Sobyanin has been placed in charge of one of the world’s largest cities by exectutive fiat of the Kremlin, and he will be its slave. Democratic politics at the local level has been absolutely and finally extinguished, and it has been carried out by the so-called “liberal” reformer Dima Medvedev.
Sergei Sobyanin is a little known figure in Russia. He rarely gives interviews, although he has been one of Russia’s most influential politicians for years. Since Medvedev came to power in 2008, he has served as deputy prime minister and chief of staff for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He headed Medvedev’s election staff in 2008.
In other words, not only has Sobyanin been placed in power in a grossly anti-democratic manner, but the public has no idea who he is — just as it had no idea who Vladimir Putin was when he, too, was arbitrarily thrust into power by Boris Yeltsin.
During the 1980s he was active in the Communist youth movement Komsomol. In the early 1990s he became mayor of the oil town of Kogalym, later chairman of the legislature of the Khanty-Mansiysk region. After that, with full support from the Kremlin, he was elected governor of Tyumen.
In other words, he’s a proud Communist-era aparachik, just like Putin.
Sobyanin turned out to be a rather rigid governor, who did not tolerate any resistance and took harsh measures against what was left of a free press. “A journalist cannot be independent,” he once said. Sobyanin also expressed sympathy for Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, praising the “development” of the country under his rule.
Sobyanin has always been eager to express his loyalty to Vladimir Putin. He supported Putin’s candidacy for the presidency in 2000 and was the first governor to become a member of the Kremlin party United Russia. In 2005 Putin brought him to Moscow to become his chief of staff – as the successor to Dmitry Medvedev, who had at the time become a deputy prime minister.
He is, in other words, a Stalin-loving toady of Putin, willing to do Putin’s bidding and wipe out the last vestiges of pluralism and democracy in Russia’s largest city, one of its last bastions.
Mr. Medvedev, you should be ashamed of yourself.