WASHINGTON – The IHT reports that Aleksey Navalny, a blogger who is a recognized leader of the protest movement called the Russian government “crooks and thieves” who steal from the people. He also said that there were enough people in the streets to go and storm the Kremlin. His contempt for Putin and the entire Russian power structure is open and absolute. These are pretty strong words of defiance in a country used to deference to power.
Russian Spring in Winter
So, there you have it. Here is the “Russian Spring” coming out in Winter. A bit out of season perhaps, (it is bitterly cold in Moscow), but in full force. According to the people, (well, at least some of them) the government of the Russian Federation is headed by “crooks and thieves” who tell lies and steal from the people. The People may very well decide to go and storm the Kremlin in order to evict the “little sneaky jackals”, although not just now. Just street bombast? I would not be so sure. Vladimir Putin should worry.
Advice to Putin from Gorbachev: do not run for president
The same IHT story quotes former president Michail Gorbachev saying that Putin should let go and not run for re-election. Something like: “Quit when you are still ahead“. A good word of advice from a man who tried to salvage the old USSR and then was swept away by events he set in motion but could not control.
Yet, somehow, I suspect that Vladimir Putin does not get that Russia no longer accepts his own idea of a piloted democracy obeying his orders without questions.
Somehow autocrats never get it.