Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Economist Sergei Guriev anti-corruptionist labeled as critical of Putin flees Russia

"He (Guriev) defended Khodorkovsky and said that the case was fabricated. An enemy? Of course," Boris Nemtsov, a protest and opposition leader, said ironically. "He fights corruption? That betrays our fundamental ideals!" Since Putin's return to the Kremlin after four years as prime minister, the authorities have moved across a broad front to silence critics, with Navalny now on trial on fraud charges which he says are trumped up and politically motivated. 

  Putin's move to Dictatorship tightens on Russia


It was only a short while ago after something of a show trial that three young women in a Russian punk band were found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison for an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral earlier this year. Western governments and rights groups condemned the harsh sentence – even the Russian Orthodox Church had asked for clemency. despite its high profile, the Pussy Riot trial was just one on a long list of crackdowns on freedom of expression that human rights activists and observers have compiled since Putin returned to the Russian presidency last May.

For example, in June the Kremlin significantly increased the amount of fines – by 300 times in some cases – for violating the rules on holding protests. The Russian government has also presented a draft law that gives authorities the power to order what they consider "extremist" content, as well as content harmful to children, removed from Russian websites. In July the Duma, the Russian legislature, passed legislation to re-criminalize libel. It also passed a bill that requires many non-governmental organizations, mostly advocacy groups, which receive donations from outside Russia, to register as "foreign agents."

The international community is right to be outraged but it is too late. They would have been smarter to attempt to derail Putin's attempt to get reelected for a third term and to have that term extended. His goal is not only to suppress the Russian people but to join up with China and take on US hegemony.

Remember when Putin was rallying and uniting the world to take on Bush and his drive to dominate the world? Absolutely as the world's mayhem ensues amidst its drive to dominate as we move through the 21st century is Putin's only agenda. It is an old thought. I remember when term limits made him have to leave last time. There was immediate speculation as to him taking back the Presidency.

This is another sobering shock. Putin's party has been intimidating and gaming the system for years in his effort to get his fascist hands on Russia again. This is proof positive of Russians' increasing suspicions of Putin's authoritarianism, ingrained corruption and falling living standards. Putin is not to be trusted and Russians have felt his grubby little hands around their necks for 12 years as he intimidates and tries to control Russia's future for his party.

Be scared be very scared! The USSR's Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that Russia risks six lost years when Vladimir Putin returns to the presidency, echoing rumblings of dissent over his Kremlin comeback. I always find myself agreeing with Gorbachev but that is putting it mildly. This is bad news for the US and the world!

This is very concerning. I remember back in 2008 when Putin was going to try and be President for life. He was not alone. Leaders aligned with Russia were all trying to get permanent leadership so they could be at the helm of their prospective countries to take on then President Bush when his war mongering hit the point where Russia, the 135 non aligned Nations, Iran, and others were prepared to join forces and take him and our allies on.

I remember when Bush first met Putin and he said he shook his hand and looked him in the eye and saw a man of compassion, a man who was true to his word, and a man he could work with. I shuttered at Bush's stupidity. I looked at Putin and saw a man deceitful to the core who was not to be trusted period.

We were too pompous then and were pushing the world towards WW3 with our take it or leave it, my way or the highway, interference around the world. Putin was determined to head us off, to directly confront us when we were on Russia's front door trying to instigate war by installing the so called missile shield in Czechoslovakia and Poland, and return Russia to the role of a world leader.

Personally we blew it when Russia broke up and the Berlin wall came down. We were the world leader and had the perfect opportunity to be humble, show we were the leader, and bring the world together to proceed successfully through the 21st century.We egged on the likes of Vladimir Putin who understandably chaffed under our we are the boss do what we say take it or leave it, it your face tactics of Bush and Cheney.

With the return of Putin to the Russian Presidency I am again concerned as we have returned to a confrontational relationship with Russia.Under Putin we have a re-surging Russia who is suppressing his people and Democracy. His goal hopefully with the aid of China and Iran is to put an end to US hegemony. I do not like the man, I do not trust the man, and I am very concerned as to which direction Russia and the United States are headed now and at a time when China is surging militarily.

We must maintain a balance as we try to move progressively and successfully through the 21st century! Being in a superior position puts one in a unique position of power and that power must be handled gracefully, with humility, responsibly, and not abused. That is something I taught all my sons and America under Bush did a lousy job of handling it and so it China and Russia.

Watching what is happening in Syria and Iran at this point it looks like Russia and China are going to unite to take on the United States and our allies and that bodes ill for the prospect of future war or the well being of us the world and the planet.

We need Russia on our side. I am a little worried that China too is getting a little too heavy handed and abusive with her new position of power and beginning to take what she wants instead of being content with what she has which is what I constantly lecture has to be the case if we are to have a future. The time when man and the planet could handle war is over, period or else! Be very concerned for our future!

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma

1 comment:

Demeur said...

Yes it looks like Putin is trying to move back to the old Soviet ways. But be careful before you mount your high moral horse. While Obama and Kerry were wagging their fingers at Syria and Turkey for their crackdowns on free speech, 8000 peaceful protesters were arrested here in this country but not before they were tear gassed and beaten.