Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, October 03, 2011

Back to the future

Putin's decision to return to the presidency has unleashed some notalgia. Well, not so much nostalgia as bad memories.

For Russia’s Liberals, Flickers of Hope Vanish
When Lyubov Volkova, 63, woke up on Sunday, it was a few moments before she remembered what had happened…

On Sunday she awoke to the reality that Vladimir V. Putin had, in effect, appointed himself president, and she knew that the aspirations of the Mikhail S. Gorbachev era had been snuffed out…

Russia’s liberals, a small but influential slice of the population, have faced lacerating truths this month.

Mr. Putin, who dominates politics here, is popular with members of the overall public in Russia, who have seen steady gains in their living standards over the last decade. And though he is an unapologetic advocate of centralized power, his government has offered political vehicles for the educated elites who disagree. Chief among these vehicles was Mr. Medvedev, Mr. Putin’s successor as president, who as a candidate promised to fight “legal nihilism” and “limitless corruption.” Another was Right Cause, a hastily created opposition party whose leader vowed to introduce genuine competition to Parliament…

Liberal-minded Muscovites poured out their despair on the Internet on Sunday, passing around a portrait of Mr. Putin superimposed on Leonid Brezhnev, whose 18-year rule became known as the “era of stagnation.”…

Putin 'will not end Russia impasse' - Gorbachev
Ex-USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned Russia risks wasting six years if PM Vladimir Putin returns to the presidency in March as expected.

Reacting to the news Mr Putin will run for office in 2012, Mr Gorbachev said Russia was at an "impasse" and that he doubted Mr Putin could bring change…

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