Sergei Petrov, a Russian State Duma deputy from the Just Russia party and founder of Rolf Group, writing in the Moscow Times:
Strategy 2020 — the question of where Russia will be in 2020 — hangs in the air. There are a variety of scenarios being offered by leading economists, political scientists and other analysts, but one thing is clear: There will be no miracles in the next nine years. The prospects for a country mired in archaic institutions, an oil- and gas-dependent economy, systemic corruption, unprotected property rights, corrupt courts, fraudulent elections and an apathetic population can only be dim at best.
I’m almost certain that Russia will not be able to survive in its current borders through 2020. This is not an exaggerated, sensational prognosis taken from the blogs of radical liberals or anarchists, but a clear-headed, objective analysis based on the Kremlin’s flawed policies over the past decade.
Brian Whitmore, writing on The Power Vertical:
A Russian leader gives a four-hour speech filled with empty platitudes about imaginary accomplishments, promises of a bright future, and dire warnings about dangerous foreign influences. The speech was interrupted 53 times by applause.
Several months back, I blogged about the striking similarities between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Each replaced a reformist predecessor who was ultimately seen as bumbling, erratic, and ineffective — Nikita Krushchev in Brezhnev’s case, Boris Yeltsin in Putin’s. Both ushered in an era of stability and relative prosperity thanks to high oil prices. And both perceived a “golden age” that lasted roughly a decade.
But by the late 1970s, the luster began to wear off Brezhnev’s rule as the Soviet economy stagnated, life expectancy plummeted, and social problems like rampant alcoholism, worker absenteeism, and widespread cynicism became endemic.
Another indispensable post from the brilliant Russian-watchers at the Power Vertical, one of our favorite Russia blogs:
A new leader comes to the Kremlin in a time of chaos, replacing a bumbling and erratic predecessor. He loves to hunt and drive fast cars. He ushers in an era of stability and relative prosperity, thanks largely to high oil prices. People see the first decade or so of his rule as a golden age.
This could easily be a description of Vladimir Putin. But it also applies to another Russian leader — Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982.
Vladislav Inozemtsev, writing in the Moscow Times:
President Dmitry Medvedev’s ambitious modernization goals remind me of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika. In fact, we are now at the two-year mark of Medvedev’s program, and if you look at where Gorbachev’s program was two years after it was initiated, you will see an amazing parallel — both projects amounted to little more than hype and empty slogans.
Many parallels have been drawn between Russia and the Soviet Union. United Russia has replaced the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the State Duma has taken the place of the Supreme Soviet. Much like in the old days, opposition rallies are dispersed, and the courts rule in favor of the government line.
Another Day, Another Nemtsov Arrest
Once again last Tuesday, the former first deputy prime minister of Russia was arrested and accused of “provocation” by the Putin Kremlin for daring to challenge its authority.
Before we discuss the latest incidence of jaw-dropping barbarism from the Putin Kremlin, though, let’s take a moment to reflect on amazing photograph shown above, an image captured by a Novaya Gazeta photographer at the scene of the crime. It ought to strike sheer terror into the hearts of the loathsome reptiles within the Moscow Kremlin.
Posted in editorial, nemtsov (white paper), neo-soviet crackdown, opposition groups, russia
Tagged barack obama, boris nemtsov, European Union, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Leonid Brezhnev, russia, United States, vladimir putin