Apr 18, 2007

A Nervous Wreck

The violent crackdown on last weekend's March of the Dissenters points to the increased paranoia of the Russian government elite ahead of the December 2007 parliamentary and the March 2008 presidential elections, according to Moscow Times' columnist Georgy Bovt. The use of excessive force of the security troops and the careful planning of the crackdown show that Kremlin elite is not willing to leave anything to chance.

There is a question of 'why'. Putin's standing remains high, Russian economy is booming and foreign investors keep pouring funds into the Russian stock market. As Sonja Margolina writes in Frankfurter Rundschau (here is the original article in German) "only through a monstrous hall of mirrors could one see in the handful of opposition members without resources and support, anything approaching "orange revolutionaries" or Western-influenced conspirators." She sees the late events as a "symptom of the political crisis that seems to be gripping the Putinesque vertical at the nadir of its un-challenged power."

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