Friday, February 8, 2019

Like Andropov, Putin doesn’t Understand What’s Happening in Society but is Also Responding with Repression, Obukhov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 7 – Yury Andropov once observed that he didn’t know what was happening in Soviet society but responded, as the former KGB chief he was, by intensifying repression in order to prevent mass protests that might threaten the regime, Sergey Obukhov says. Now, Vladimir Putin is in exactly the same position is and is doing exactly the same thing.

            The secretary of the KPRF Central Committee says that it is obvious that today, “the level of inadequacy of our powers that be is very great. Nevertheless, the Kremlin is seriously concerned about protests” given the rising level of poverty in the country and is taking steps to crack down harder in advance of mass protests (

            In fact, the Russian communist official says, there are unlikely to be active outburst of protest in Russia today despite growing dissatisfaction. “As practice shows, the situation in Russia can continue for a long time. But sooner or later, the inadequacy of the powers that be and the destruction of infrastructure will [lead to] a war between society and the ruling elite.”

            The analogy Obukov draws between Putin and Andropov concerning why they both responded in the same way is important. Even more important, however, is that Andropov’s approach didn’t work but led instead first to Gorbachev with whom he played and then to the end of the Soviet Union he had worked his entire life to promote.

            Without being explicit, the communist leader today is thus implicitly predicting much the same outcome for Putin and the Russian Federation not immediately but eventually, again as was the case with Andropov almost 40 years ago exactly the opposite one that a KGB officer could be expected to want.    

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