According to Reuters, Russian president Vladimir Putin is tightening his grip on Russia’s political environment. The ex-KGB spy has initiated raids against protest organizers and activists who claim that his regime is illegitimate. Protester’s against Putin’s rule have been using the internet to organize themselves, and thus hard drives and other computer equipment are being confiscated.
Putin uses Russia’s police as a baton to maintain his personal power. Many Russians say that “it is 1937,” a reference to the deadliest year of Josef Stalin’s rule where he crushed political opposition and carried out purges on the populace. The parallel is obvious; during Stalin’s rule, the party line was that allegiance to the Communist party was paramount. During Putin’s rule, maintaining political stability (see: current government) is paramount, and similar tactics are being used to enforce the status quo.
Russia is today practically a corporacratic state. Putin is essentially the CEO of a corporation equipped with a powerful military and enormous energy resources. The corporation’s goal is also, like all others, profit. Putin craves economic growth that will further grow Russia’s military and help it to regain its former power. United States analysts note that Russia is a “virtual mafia state” due to Putin’s control over paramilitary forces and energy infrastructure that allows him to maintain power by keeping others in power. The Russian government is also notoriously corrupt. Russia took #143/183 on Transparency International’s corruption index .
So, Communism is gone but Russia is still an oppressive state run by a near-dictator. Who would have thought that repression came from a personal hunger for power despite the political allegiances of tyrants?