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(Cathy Young): A Brewing Storm in Russia
reason.com ^ | January 5, 2009 | Cathy Young

Posted on 01/05/2009 12:29:38 PM PST by Publius804

A Brewing Storm in Russia

Can Russian liberalism survive the Putin/Medvedev regime?

A year ago, Russia was in an odd place between oppressive stagnation and a glimmer of possible change. The ruling party, United Russia, had just consolidated its hold on the parliament in a rigged election; the presidential transition was revealed as the farcical anointment of a handpicked successor to Vladimir Putin—the docile Dmitry Medvedev, who quickly promised to make Putin prime minister. Yet some Russian liberals, and sympathetic Westerners, harbored at least modest hopes that Medvedev might prove more liberal than Putin and that the division of power between president and prime minister might weaken Russia's neo-autocracy.

Today, the winds of change in Russia are blowing again—harsh winds that may yet turn into a storm.

The liberalization from above turned out to be a non-starter, despite Medvedev's declaration that "freedom is better than non-freedom." Any hopes of a thaw, or a Putin-Medvedev fissure, were crushed when Medvedev's first 100 days ended with the war in Georgia. (Whatever Georgia's responsibility for triggering this war, it was preceded by years of provocation and manipulation by the Kremlin—intended to destabilize a government perceived as unfriendly and send an assertive message to the West.)

The surge of "patriotic" sentiment that followed Russia's victory threatened to take the country even further down the authoritarian road. But history works in mysterious ways.

While Western sanctions in response to the war proved short-lived, Russia paid a heavy price for its victory in the flight of foreign capital—which both predated October's financial crisis and exacerbated its effects in Russia.

(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: kremlin; medvedev; putin

1 posted on 01/05/2009 12:29:40 PM PST by Publius804
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To: Publius804

Good article, but can she still sing “A Thousand Stars”?


2 posted on 01/05/2009 12:45:39 PM PST by Prokopton
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To: Publius804

You know these think tank stars and their agitation against foreigners are a bit of a joke. I suppose it pays well, but I wish they could concentrate on helping us in the Politically Correct People’s Republic of Illinois first.


3 posted on 01/05/2009 12:50:51 PM PST by junta (Not even respectable mainstream conservatives can save liberalism.)
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To: Prokopton

> Good article, but can she still sing “A Thousand Stars”?

IIRC, that was Kathy Jean, not Kathy Young.
:)

1956 ... what a GREAT year ...


4 posted on 01/07/2009 4:46:23 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: Westbrook

“IIRC, that was Kathy Jean, not Kathy Young.
:)”

You must be getting old.

www.kathyyoung.com/bio.htm

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck_D85HO_pI


5 posted on 01/07/2009 8:02:41 AM PST by Prokopton
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To: Prokopton

> You must be getting old

Yup! Must be.

You’re right, of course.

I was 9 years old in 1956.


6 posted on 01/07/2009 9:19:44 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: Prokopton

I was thinking of Kathy Jean and the Roommates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsRLObCJcuc


7 posted on 01/07/2009 9:24:19 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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