How Russia went wrong: an insider’s testimony (2)
Arvamus 17 Sep 2017  EWR
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On Sept. 12, Vladimir Putin quietly passed a landmark date: He had spent 6,602 days as the top leader of Russia, The Washington Post notes today (September 14):

Putin has spent more time in office than Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled for 18 years and one month between 1964 and 1982 (6,601 days). It also means that Putin is now the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin, who led the Soviet Union for almost three decades between 1924 and 1953 — 10,636 days in total.

In his new book, Russia’s Dead End: An Insider’s Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin, Andrei Kovalev says things that no outsider could about Russia’s “manic-depressive psychosis ….megalomania, persecution complex and kleptomania,” The Economist notes:

In the long run he fears a break-up of Russia, before—possibly—the dawn of democracy, the rule of law and modernisation….. Mr Putin is a “mumbling, stammering knock-kneed brow-furrowing ex-KGB agent who speaks the language of the gutter and values power above everything”.

Recent opposition gains are a troubling sign for the Kremlin, notes STRATFOR. Putin is almost assured an overwhelming victory, but his ability to hold onto his previous mandates are in question…… “At the end of the day, while there’s reason to hope that these results are a sign that change is possible, the stark reality remains that these small victories are likely all that the regime will permit,” adds Hudson Institute analyst Hannah Thoburn, a former Penn Kemble fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy…RTWT

Michael Allen
Special Assistant, Government Relations and Public Affairs
Editor, Democracy Digest
National Endowment for Democracy
 
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