Vladislav Inozemtsev, editor of the Svobodnaya Mysl journal, writing in the Moscow Times:
Although I signed my name to the Internet petition under the slogan “Putin must go,” I only endorsed the main idea of the petition — that Russia must change the economic and political course set by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin — and not necessarily all of its individual points. For example, I don’t agree that President Dmitry Medvedev is the servile stooge that most of the petitioners make him out to be, and I am convinced that it is possible to modernize Russia without completely destroying the entire ruling regime. Moreover, in opposition to the words contained in the petition’s manifesto, I believe that Putin has done a lot of good things for Russia, and I don’t think that it is necessary to investigate how he became wealthy. Nonetheless, I do agree with the main thesis that Russia no longer needs Putin.
After becoming president in 2000, Putin singled out the country’s main enemies and threats and took steps to neutralize them. He also placed Russia’s chief sources of wealth under government control. It is unclear how much of this was motivated by Putin’s desire to gain personally, but what is clear is that he wanted bring stability to Russia after the chaotic and lawless 1990s.
But when a leader tries to enforce stability at all costs, it inevitably conflicts with the laws of nature. Imposing stability on a long-term basis is always an artificial process that requires keeping society within predefined limits. Those limits inevitably stifle the country’s development, diversification and private initiative, and they suffocate the business sector’s ability to be innovative and entrepreneurial. “Forced stability” is a recipe for political and economic stagnation and degradation.
There are five main reasons why Putin is an obstacle to development: