Staunton, May 9 – Ever more people are pointing to fascist aspects of Vladimir Putin’s rule in Russia and even are suggesting that he is on the way to making it a fully fascist state, but Vadim Zaydman says that his regime was fascist from the outset, a conclusion certain to unsettle many in Russia and in the West.
Suggesting that Putin only became fascist in the course of his rule, the Moscow commentator says, lets off the hook not only those in the Yeltsin regime who brought him to power but those in Russia and the West who have viewed him as someone they could deal with as a more or less normal leader (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59105A5E436B3).
Even before Putin was elevated to the presidency, when he was still prime minister, Zaidman continues, he “began his actions by blowing up the apartment blocks in Moscow and Volgodonsk and with ‘the training exercise in Ryazan.’ If this isn’t fascism, blowing up houses where one’s own citizens live, then what is fascism?”
Putin’s regime “from the very beginning was authoritarian … he did not acquire fascist characteristics step by step; it only ever more manifest them in its activity.” And those who did not see it after Ryazan were deceiving themselves. Given Russian history, Yeltsin’s decision to appoint “the chief of ‘the Russische Gestapo’” president only confirms that.
Many in Russia and the West have refused to recognize this, preferring instead to follow the Kremlin’s line that the Chechens were to blame for what Putin’s FSB did. They and those who accept their view do not see that this too is confirmation that Putin has already created his own “stormtroopers,” people who will do his bidding regardless of what he does.
Such people must be exposed, Zaidman says. “A country must know its ‘heroes,’ it must know that there are a lot of them.” Only in that way can they and the fascist regime they are defending and extending be defeated.