Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Russians' enduring support of Vladimir Putin
BBC News ^ | 8 December 2012

Posted on 12/15/2012 6:38:03 PM PST by MinorityRepublican

Opposition protests took place in Moscow, but there is more ambivalence to change in Russia's countryside

Last December, Moscow's streets were filled with thousands of opposition protesters accusing Vladimir Putin of rigging elections. A year on, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg reassesses the public's attitude to Mr Putin, from the capital to the countryside.

In a Russian winter, it is almost as if the elements conspire to keep you off the streets.

In the centre of Moscow, the cold bites to the bone, the icy pavements are an obstacle course, and the snow is like a giant swaddling blanket that makes you want to hibernate till the spring thaw.

It makes what happened one year ago so remarkable.

Last December, thousands, then tens of thousands of Muscovites took to the streets.

They accused Vladimir Putin of stealing their votes in Russia's parliamentary election; they demanded respect from the authorities.

It was a sudden, surprise eruption of frustration from Russia's emerging middle class.

But one year on that sentiment is fading. 'We need a Tsar'

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Russia
KEYWORDS: elections; europe; fraud; obama; putin

1 posted on 12/15/2012 6:38:07 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

“Last December, Moscow’s streets were filled with thousands of opposition protesters accusing Vladimir Putin of rigging elections.”

Today, these people are dead. And their children are dead. And their pets and meager, aging, scrawny livestock are dead. And their immediate neighbors are dead. The Paperboy and the Milkman? Dead.

Guess we didn’t hear about THAT now, did we?

Why isn’t Putin on the same level with Castro and Chavez and Hitler and Mussolini? I’ll NEVER understand it! Never!


2 posted on 12/15/2012 6:47:45 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican; Diana in Wisconsin

This article is such an example of modern British journalism.
Citing one urban liberal and two village idiots seems to be enough for them to make conclusions.


3 posted on 12/15/2012 7:02:36 PM PST by cunning_fish
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin
Are you sure your information is correct?

Your post indicates wholesale murder, and I haven't seen any indication of that. Any sources?

4 posted on 12/15/2012 7:42:06 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

I’m just bitchin’. But seriously. Think about it. You think this man stays in power by handing out baskets of kittens? LOL!


5 posted on 12/15/2012 7:45:38 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

P.S. They’re flippin’ COMMUNISTS!


6 posted on 12/15/2012 7:46:26 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

>>>I’m just bitchin’. But seriously. Think about it. You think this man stays in power by handing out baskets of kittens? LOL!<<<

In fact Russian people has to give him credit. In 1999 their nation was broken to African level with average wage at about 10 dollars a weak and a civil war in progress.

Today their average household’s economic power is closer to Missisipi’s than Zimbabwe’s.

At the start of Putin’s first term their debt to GDP rate was awful, it was simply a bankrupt hellhole. Their external debt is 2.5% GDP today.

Add 13% flat tax and almost zero property tax, no government involvement into your personal and family life etc.


7 posted on 12/15/2012 8:29:26 PM PST by cunning_fish
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin
But seriously. Think about it. You think this man stays in power by handing out baskets of kittens? LOL!

No, I think Putin is an authoritarian Russian Nationalist who kills people.

P.S. They’re flippin’ COMMUNISTS!

Who, Putin, or those protesting against Putin?

The best way to identify Communists is by watching what they do, not listening to what they say.

Remember, Communism (Marxism) was conceived and refined as an ECONOMIC policy. It is political only for the purpose of imposing that economic policy by force.

If a "Communist" in political power, does not impose the economic policy of Communism (Marxism), is he in fact a Communist? How about if he does impose a mafia like parasitical group on a capitalistic economy?

Is he a Communist or an authoritarian oligarch?

8 posted on 12/15/2012 8:30:39 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot
Is he a Communist or an authoritarian oligarch?

Putin is a former communist and current de facto dictator at the head of an oligarchy that's partly fascist, partly kleptomaniacal, and altogether Russian nationalist.

The article, incidentally, was short on facts and figures, long on impressions: altogether typical of BBC productions.

I doubt any exaggeration would be needed to claim a third or more of Russians support Putin and another third find him tolerable. After 1,000 years of autocracy and well over a century of decidedly unhappy relations with both Europe and America, it would be surprising if Russians were willing to depart from the known at all quickly, still less embrace western notions of representative government, civil rights for all, any very great degree of individual freedom, open market capitalism, and the like. The Russian character—still a worthy and often fascinating topic of conversation there—is deeply wary of change and equally wary of all things foreign.

To be fair, Putin may be a dictator in nearly all but name, but he's an occasional murderer rather than a Lenin-esque or Stalin-esque mass murderer, and seems generally to prefer manipulation to murder. Russia is both more stable and more prosperous under his rule than it's been since well before the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. By Russian standards, I believe he's regarded as a significant improvement in most respects upon Yeltsin and all the communists, though Stalin was well loved, first and last for being a strong man, and Lenin remains something of a national saint. I believe many Russians see Putin as at least the equal of, and probably an improvement upon the last few Romanov emperors. If, as is claimed, he's the single richest man in Europe and Rusia, I suspect plus or minus half of all Russians either don't mind or don't mind a great deal: strong national leaders are expected to be men of great wealth and power and decision.

All that said, Putin is some small portion of the leader Russia deserves. Like most of the Romanovs, he's not quite a dullard, albeit far from an intelligent man. He's plain-minded, not at all visionary. He looks backward rather than forward. He seems to think first and last of what was, not what could be.

Russia is both the largest country on earth and the most generously endowed with natural resources. It ought to be—and could be—one of the wealthiest nations. Putin is content to watch Russia, which actually was in the same economic class with many African nations when he took power, make modest improvements, (many in spite rather than because of his and his cronies' policies.) While Russia has inched upward, many of its former Eastern and Central European satellite states have positively bounded upward. I have to say if Russians are content with plodding, uncertain progress rather than the dramatic progress their nation could make and other nations are making, that's up to them.

There's a problem. The 70% of Russia that lies to the east of the Urals has 30% or less of the population. No one can say for sure what percentage of the nation's natural resources the Asian portion has because much of Siberia has never been mapped, still less closely surveyed, still less developed.

Neighboring China's population is prodigiously larger than Russia's and its natural resources much more limited. China has no valid historical claim to any significant portion of Siberia; by contrast, its army is far larger than Russia's. I doubt China is seriously contemplating a war of imperial conquest; by contrast, Russia has to fear that possibility, and since it can hardly fight a ground war over vast areas of the far east, it has no choice but to maintain and sustain superior nuclear weapons capabilities. How much does that cost? More than Russia can comfortably afford while inching forward economically.

The obvious solution would be to put an end to kleptocracy, open Russia to outside investment, and develop natural resources in a truly serious way, then use that wealth to enlarge and diversify the national economy, support a national defense China couldn't think of trying to breach, and transform Russia from the dull, sluggish old bear into the vibrant partner connecting Asia and Europe.

Putin and many Russians are wary of foreign investment, and what used to be known as the "rule of law" in the United States surely wouldn't be at all welcome to the oligarchy of rich, well educated, well connected men who loot as much as develop, and rely on friends in high government offices to maintain their special privileges. Instead of befriending China and making it an economic partner worth trillions of any currency in the world, Putin seems content to sustain mutual distrust with it. Instead of simultaneously befriending and competing with Europe, Putin seems content to squeeze as many euros out of it as possible with energy sales that probably don't amount to 10% of the sales Russia could make. Instead of letting American dollars, (admittedly worth less each passing week,) go to work in Russia, Putin seems content to score points against President You Didn't Build That, (admittedly an easy target.)

History isn't going to record him as Vladimir Veliky, Vladimir the Great; all the same, he's less destructive than his predecessors.

9 posted on 12/15/2012 9:45:46 PM PST by Standing Wolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Standing Wolf; Diana in Wisconsin
Outstanding!

A very accurate analysis of both Putin and Russians.

Additionally Russians and especially Putin have long memories. Both Western Europe (Soros) and some American interests (Clintons) have run operations attempting to loot Russia after the fall of the USSR, which explains a lot of Putin's animosity toward Europe and America.

Finally, the anti Putin crowd in Russia are far more Communist Useful Idiot agitators than Putin is a Communist. That's why they are agitating.

10 posted on 12/15/2012 10:15:00 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

Putin is a corrupt monster. But he loves his country.

Our resident has only one of those qualities...


11 posted on 12/15/2012 11:51:51 PM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

I don’t doubt you, Putin is a monster, but could provide some support? A link? Even a personal recountance? Please?


12 posted on 12/15/2012 11:55:35 PM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Standing Wolf

Um, write a book. Please. That was the most erudite exposition on the current state of Russia that I have EVER read. No sarc, no joke.

Just wow.


13 posted on 12/16/2012 12:03:45 AM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin
It's in the Russian cultural make-up, going all the way back to Mongol rule. They NEED a strong man to lead them, no matter how brutal, and they need continuity. Stalin is still idolized there.

My old Russian roommate from college who was otherwise entirely sensible, could not say enough good things about Comrade Stalin. Whenever anyone pointed out his mass murders and gulags, my friend's come-back was that "to modernize Russia, Stalin had to break some eggs. It was worth it."

Human life and liberty are not valued the same in Russia as it is/was here.

14 posted on 12/16/2012 2:51:50 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot
Altho0ugh he would never admit it to it, Putin is a traditional Tsarist. If he thought that he could get away with it, he'd have the Russian orthodox Church crown him as a new Tsar. Just look at the Romanov trappings that he surrounds himself with...


15 posted on 12/16/2012 3:01:11 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

The number of urban liberals in Russia is quite small. Russian voters in small towns and the countryside are afraid of losing all they have gained. And they credit United Russia and Putin with stability and growth since the turn of the century. Outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg, there is little appetite for dramatic change in Russia.


16 posted on 12/16/2012 3:03:39 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

Compared to the opposition Communist Party, United Russia is pro-market and for orderly progress.

Russians have had enough of revolutions and Communism. No one wants to go back to those times there.

Putin is not perfect but he’s better than all the alternatives.


17 posted on 12/16/2012 3:10:19 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Standing Wolf

That is a but of perfect analysis but I think it is wrong in one place. They seems to have more personal freedom comparing to the modern West.


18 posted on 12/16/2012 5:22:32 AM PST by cunning_fish
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Diana in Wisconsin

It’s easy to be critical of Putin but justifying that criticism is more difficult. Just this week there was a thread indicating that for the first time in years, the Russian birthrate slightly exceeded the death rate. Maybe things under Putin are finally turning round

That fact is important because it may mean that Putin’s policies are actually saving Mother Russia. He ruled a country of alcoholic men that necessitated the women to shore much more of their share of the societal burden and as a result aborted their children.

We worry about jobs. Russia has a product shortage. Russia can’t make anything worth a damn but weapons. They can’t eat weapons and can’t consume weapons so they must bug petty dictators in Iran and Syria to buy their production. Their customers are in peril. If the weapons customers go, Russian jobs and industrial base goes.

Then there is China....... China, the exMaoist communist China is booming. Comparing the excommunism of China and the ex communism of Russia must be really discouraging to the Russian leaders.

Being Putin is not easy


19 posted on 12/16/2012 5:39:50 AM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 .....The fairest Deduction to be reduced is the Standard Deduction)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: bert
Another valuable viewpoint on Russia

Russia has a product shortage. Russia can’t make anything worth a damn but weapons. They can’t eat weapons and can’t consume weapons so they must bug petty dictators in Iran and Syria to buy their production. Their customers are in peril. If the weapons customers go, Russian jobs and industrial base goes.

This is true, and there is a reason Russia has been weapons centric.

Modern Russia has been attacked and invaded repeatedly, in the immediate past by just about everybody around her, including the United States.

For Russian politicians, it's hard to trust anyone and easy to get public support for weapons development and production.

Russia chose the economic priorities that they felt safest with.

China, the exMaoist communist China is booming. Comparing the ex communism of China and the ex communism of Russia must be really discouraging to the Russian leaders.

Again, true.

China can concentrate on any economic activity they wish in security. Being able to field the largest army on the planet gives China absolute control in China and they can do pretty much what they want with bordering neighbors except those with strategic nuclear capability. And NO ONE would consider INVADING China. So China has an advantage over Russia.

20 posted on 12/16/2012 4:16:40 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

.....And NO ONE would consider INVADING China. .....

Now that is an interesting thought and will be filed

In my mind, the cold war was never about Russia invading Europe. The cold war was Russia holding territory west of Mother Russia to provide a buffer insuring the Motherland would never be reached by invading armies again.


21 posted on 12/17/2012 3:40:43 AM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 .....The fairest Deduction to be reduced is the Standard Deduction)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson