Saturday, May 6, 2017

Despite Its Different Origin, Putin Regime Increasingly Resembles Other Fascist States, Yakovenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 6 – Unlike other fascist regimes which came to power either via force or elections, the one headed by Vladimir Putin arose by appointment, Igor Yakovenko says; but despite that, the regime he heads increasingly resembles other fascist regimes and justifies identifying it as “Putinist fascism.”

            “The uniqueness of the Putin regime of a fascist type,” the Moscow commentator writes, “is that it did not come to power either as a result of elections or by force. In Russia, there wasn’t a Beerhall putsch, a Kristallnacht, or a March on Rome.” Instead, Putin’s predecessors handed him power on a plate (

            Some behind this “unique special operation” are still around, although many are horrified by what Putin has done, and some are now living abroad in “forced emigration.”  Putin’s regime “has acquired fascist characteristics gradually as it has become obvious it couldn’t keep power by democratic means and as its crimes made any exit from office mortally dangerous.” 

            “The formation of the dictatorship in Russia,” Yakovenko says, “coincided with the chain of ‘color revolutions’ in the world.” Looking at them as they unfolded, “Putin ever more became convinced that it was necessary to radically intensify the country’s repressive apparatus, to strengthen its internal army and use it in a war with its own population.”

            Putin was truly horrified by the Arab Spring in 2011 and the death of Muammar Qaddafi. The Kremlin leader, the commentator continues, could easily imagine something similar happening to himself. And those fears became even stronger when the Russian people demonstrated against his faked elections.

            Putin, of course, “understood that no one will kill him,” but he wasn’t going to take any chances and began to intensify repression at home and military adventurism abroad, a combination that justifies calling his regime a fascist one. That is all the more so because he created “his own personal army” to defend himself rather than Russia.

            Yakovenko notes that Khrushchev shot the Novocherkassk workers in 1962 without any qualms and that the Chinese similarly without qualms crushed the Tiananmen Square democracy protests in 1989 despite the certainty in the latter case at least that this would provoke an international outcry.

            But “the Putin dictatorship” is “immeasurably more dependent on the West” that either Khrushchev’s Soviet Union or Beijing’s China was despite its bravado about sanctions and much else.  If pushed to the wall, Putin will kill his own people just as willingly as the others did, but he hopes to avoid that by repressing Russians in ways that won’t provoke the West.

            In the first instance, the Kremlin leader used “Surkov’s red guards,” Cossacks, extreme Russian nationalists, and anti-Maidan types. But he has moved ever more in the direction of those who resemble the stormtroopers of the Nazis with the formation in Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine of “semi-criminal groupings under the name SERB.”

            Set up by Sergey Glazyev, the SERB activists failed in their efforts to spread terror in Ukraine.  But they have now come back to Russia where they “have been used to organize repression against the opponents of the Putin regime” as in the case of the chemical attack on Aleksey Navalny.

            It should be obvious that these “almost stormtroopers were created by the powers that be, are directed by them, and act under their protection.”  But because they didn’t play a role in the Putin fascist regime coming to power, they are largely excluded from the higher echelons of its structures – and their inability to offer career advancement keeps them relatively small.

            “However, on the periphery of the Putin regime real storm trooper detachments have been emerging,” including the personal guard of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and “the bandits of the LDNR.” Both know what would happen to them if the Putin regime were to collapse and so will defend it to the end.

            Consequently, Yakovenko says, if Putin does go, these forces, because the regular army will stand aside, may play an outsized role in determining the direction Russia will go, the result of Putin’s actions and a poison pill that he has given Russia as part of his effort to save himself at any cost.

            Two other news items also speak to the rise of fascism in Putin’s Russia. Igor Eidman suggests the George ribbon Russians are encouraged or forced to wear is now “Putin’s swastika” (

            And Russian parliamentarians say that the world must unite against the rebirth of fascism without acknowledging that the place where that is occurring most frighteningly is not somewhere far away but in Russia itself (

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