A reader directs our attention to a two-part series being aired today on Australian television entitled "The Putin System" which seeks to expose the creeping phenomenon of neo-Soviet dictatorship in Russia. Hopefully, the people of Oz will watch this program and then start asking serious questions about why their government is selling nuclear fuel to the Putin regime. Cutting Edge reports:
Vlad the Inhaler? Is Vladimir Putin snorting power up his nostrils like a presidential junkie? Is he what! As a 23-year-old, Putin's dream of being a KGB operative became a reality and he was busily spying in Germany. His ambitions were rudely curtailed by perestroika and Putin was aghast to see the organisation he yearned to serve disintegrate - like the rest of the imploding Soviet Union. Ordered back to St Petersburg by his KGB controllers, Putin attached himself to Anatoly Sobchak, a liberal politician jockeying for election as the city's mayor. Former contacts in Germany provided useful conduits for humanitarian relief, which was efficiently ripped off and on-sold in pursuit of influence.
The first instalment of a profile of the gimlet-eyed Putin charts his rise through the ranks via the patronage of Sobchak and Anatoly Chubais. His eventual appointment as head of the KGB put him in a position to curry favour with the boofheaded Boris Yeltsin and paved the way for his election as prime minister. It's a grubby story about a dangerous and devious individual and the closing reels show the puppet President turning on the oligarchs who supported him - ordering a new invasion of Chechnya and responding vigorously to separatist guerillas.
Will he stand aside in 2008? Probably not. He lost to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, despite having a squirrel grip on the country, and is probably savvy enough to know that neutralising opposition indefinitely is about as likely as him dying in bed.