"The Guardian Seriously Overestimates Vladimir Putin's Weakness and Vulnerability"
I understand that Russia’s political institutions are much more brittle than those of any Western democracy and that Putin is therefore far more vulnerable to a sudden change in public opinion. But, since it has sufficed in the past, 2/3s approval would seem to be sufficient for the broad continuation of the status quo.
I can fully understand and sympathize with The Guardian’s evident desire to see Putin replaced: the Pussy Riot trial really is quite a revolting bit of political theater, and it stands to reason that such stunts will only become more common as the Kremlin seeks to drive a wedge between the progressive and conservative parts of Russian society. But I think it’s a big mistake to over-estimate Putin’s weakness and vulnerability: this will tend to raise expectations that cannot possible be fulfilled. Perhaps I’m wrong, but it looks to me like Russia’s current economic and political trends suggest maintenance of the existing system, however rotten and objectionable that system may be.
In this column Adomanis again uses the same technique that he has applied so many times before: First he pretends to "understand and sympathize" with those who criticize the dictator, but his conclusion is always that they are wrong and that Putin is safely in charge.
The Guardian, of course, knows Russia much better than the self-proclaimed Kremlin "expert" Adomanis: