La Russophobe has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Putin Apes Stalin

La Voz, the newspaper of De Anza College in Cupertino, California, shows students there are right on top of their studies where Russia is concerned with the following editorial:

Putin's tactics disturbingly reminiscent of Stalin

Although former Russian President Vladmir Putin has supposedly relinquished power to new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Putin continues to weild significant influence over the country in his new position as Prime Minister.

Medvedev, who was previously Putin's chief of staff, was handpicked by the Putin to be his successor. Medvedev won the presidency by a large margin of around 70 percent. Medvedev has been accused of acting as a puppet and it seems Putin is not yet ready to hand over the reins of power.

During his presidency, Putin fostered increasingly acceptance of Joseph Stalin's political tactics, portraying Stalin as a national hero. Putin told schoolteachers in Russia that their history was "nothing to be ashamed of" and that it was their duty to make students feel "proud of their motherland." Stalin is described in some history books as "the most successful Soviet leader ever."

One of the more frightening aspects of Putin's Stalin-like tendencies has been his intolerance of critics in the media. During his presidency, Putin brought important media outlets, including some television and radio stations, under state control. In some cases he shut them down entirely

In addition, a slew of important journalists who were openly critical of the president were murdered during Putin's time in office, most notably Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist who was killed while walking out of her apartment. Though her murder was never directly linked to the Kremlin or to Putin, the timeliness of her murder and the execution-like style of the killing raised many eyebrows in the international community.

During his tenure as president, Putin also tightened his authoritarian grip on parliament. He changed the rules, no longer allowing governors to be elected. Instead they were appointed directly by Putin.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an independent oligarch openly critical of 'democracy' in Russia, has been quoted as saying: "It is the Singapore model - it is a term that people understand in Russia these days. It means that theoretically you have a free press, but in practice there is self-censorship. Theoretically you have courts; in practice the courts adopt decisions dictated from above. Theoretically there are civil rights enshrined in the constitution; in practice you are not able to exercise some of these rights."

No comments: