Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Two excellent articles about Putin´s Russia

Two must read articles focusing on the reality in Putin´s Russia. Here are two excerpts:

In general, an autocratic regime’s foremost concern is its own survival, and, when economic circumstances threaten its existence or even its legitimacy, the regime must pursue policies that either cure the problem or distract from it.
Rather than embrace the cure of structural economic reform and market liberalization, Putin has consistently opposed such measures, a decision rooted in his preference to keep himself and other Russian kleptocrats wealthy and in power at the expense of the Russian people. Opting for the second option taught in Autocratic Regimes 101, Putin has chosen to disguise widespread economic malaise at home by engaging in adventurism abroad, all in the name of demagogic nationalism and the “rescue” of “repressed” Russian minorities in neighboring ex-satellite states. Irrespective of the actual outcomes of such a foreign policy—which, as I would argue, is really a domestic policy—Putin’s state media will continue to craft an image of Russian triumph and adversarial acquiescence.

Read the entire article here

The leaders of the United States and the European Union are making a grievous error in thinking that President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a potential ally in the fight against the Islamic State. The evidence contradicts them. Putin’s current aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood the EU with Syrian refugees.
Russian planes have been bombing the civilian population in southern Syria forcing them to flee to Jordan and Lebanon. There are now 20,000 Syrian refugees camped out in the desert awaiting admission to Jordan. A smaller number are waiting to enter Lebanon. Both groups are growing.

Russia has also launched a large-scale air attack against civilians in northern Syria. This was followed by a ground assault by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army against Aleppo, a city that used to have 2 million inhabitants. The barrel bombs caused 70,000 civilians to flee to Turkey; the ground offensive could uproot many more.

Read the entire article here