Monday, March 12, 2012

Eurasia Daily Monitor on what next in Russia

Like everyone else, Pavel Baev is speculating. Russia is an odd country (yes, thank you, you can pipe down at the back): the only one in which we always know the election results well ahead but can never predict what will happen afterwards.

His final paragraph is of interest:
The explosion of street protests in Moscow was a real scare for Putin. While now he enjoys his victory, granting concessions to those responsible for the weeks of panic would have been very much against his unforgiving nature. He believes that the weak always are – and should be – beaten, and fancies that he has proven himself to be strong. The fight on the last stretch of elections was, in his imagination, not against the cheerful crowds on the Bolotnaya square but against the dark forces that sought to dismember Russia in collusion with the eternal Western enemies. Those in the opposition who expect dialogue and liberal reforms are going to be disappointed – and will discover the depth of Putin’s vindictiveness. Paradoxical as it may seem, this revenge of Putinism could be the answer to the opposition’s search for a new energy and unity.
Actually, the whole piece is worth reading. As it happens, I do not think President-Re-elect Putin has shown himself to be strong and what is more worrying for him, it has become more and more obvious. Screaming abuse of one's enemies is not the same as strength of character or position. But he is, most certainly, unforgiving and a bully.

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