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Monday, March 20, 2023

Putin and the dictatorship

After the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s democratic indicators fell the most compared to any other country in the world, according to analysts from the British magazine The Economist (EIU), who compiled the traditional Democracy Index ranking published the day before.

“Russia has long moved away from democracy and is now acquiring many features of a dictatorship,” the experts said.

According to the new “index”, Russia fell from 124th to 146th (out of 167 possible positions) during the year.

media’s Russian Service asked Lev Gudkov, Ph.D., scientific director of the Levada Center, and Russian opposition politician Leonid Gozman to evaluate the results of the EIU study.

“There is a spread of ideological and police control in almost all spheres of life”

You can no longer remember democracy in Russia, noted Lev Gudkov. In his opinion, the process of its destruction began with the coming to power of Vladimir Putin and ended with the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

“Today there is indeed a dictatorship in the country, but not Putin’s personal dictatorship, as many say,” he added. – This happened as a result of a deliberate restoration by KGB people of the old system of a totalitarian state – a system of all institutions, including the political police, entirely dependent on a decision of a higher court, etc. There are no more elections in Russia, there is only an imitation, the parliaments are manual, there is no independent media, the media has been completely transformed into a very propaganda machine powerful and quite effective. In short, there is no sign of democracy on the horizon.

In addition, now we can talk about the spread of the influence of authorities in areas that previously did not fall within their sphere of competence, Lev Gudkov said: “These are private life, family relations, culture, art, religion, education. Essentially, ideological and police control extends to almost every sphere of life, which was previously unthinkable. Moreover, this “merit” should not be attributed personally to Putin. The system itself and the unreformed institutions reasserted their dominance and created an imitation of personal power.”

Any attempt to self-organize society has always been repressed in Russia, as a result, civil society has in fact ceased to exist, the sociologist stressed: “The opposition has been crushed, the oldest defense organizations human rights and public institutions were either recognized as “foreign agents” or closed down as “Memorial”, MHG, “Public Verdict” and others. Therefore, it is really necessary to recognize the establishment in the country of the FSB-shnoy, in essence, a dictatorship. And its preservation is possible, of course, only through outward expansion, the mobilization of society for war, very strict censorship and the persecution of critics of the regime, of all those who think differently and are not d ‘OK.

Thus, the compilers of the Democracy Index are, on the whole, absolutely right in their conclusions, summarized the scientific director of the Levada Center.

“All the signs of a dictatorial regime have long been evident”

The fact that Russia even broke away from the facade of democracy of the period of Yeltsin’s reign and that the dictatorship became a real fact is already commonplace, recognizes Leonid Gozman. According to him, we must now speak not of the existence or not of a dictatorship in the country, but of its specificity.

“All the signs of a dictatorial regime are already there,” he added. – The war in Ukraine only obscured the process of the usurpation of power in Russia by one person. Another thing is worse: the regime is constantly expanding both the scale of the repressions and the scope of their application. It is already moving on to attempts to control the feelings and emotions of citizens. Recall the recent case where a married couple were reported in a restaurant for having “incorrectly” discussed with each other, late at night, whether it was the NWO, the aforementioned “special military operation”.

It is already something absolute, says Leonid Gozman. According to him, there is a “creeping aggression against the personal freedom of citizens against any outward manifestation of feelings” in the country if it goes against the official mainstream.

“The second thing is fundamentally new – an attempt at legislative control over the expression of opinions and views. The courts began to punish the “wrong” opinion. So, a foreign agent is now appointed for the fact that he spoke impartially about the notorious SVO. And on this basis, people are limited in their rights and simply put behind bars for a long time… In particular, when I was arrested at some point, it was also written in black and white in the act of accusation that I, in my own words, showed disrespect to the authorities.

And what did Putin ultimately achieve by such measures? asks the politician. According to him, he did not strengthen the state, but on the contrary greatly weakened it.

“The level of security in the country has dropped significantly recently, especially after the outbreak of aggression in Ukraine. It turned out that the Russian army is frankly weak and is only capable of destroying cities, while NATO has been strengthened by the entry of Scandinavian countries into the organization. In principle, any dictatorship destroys the state. Let us remember how Hitler’s dictatorship ended – Germany’s complete disaster,” concluded Leonid Gozman.

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