Staunton, October 8 – Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for all the repressive acts his system carries out because over the last two decades he not only appointed all those officials who are carrying them out but also has clearly signaled the direction they follow and could change things overnight if only he wanted, Fyodor Krasheninnikov says.
Those confronted by repressions must “remember the names of all those involved in their direct realization, of all those who give false testimony” or otherwise act to suppress people, the Russian commentator says, but at the same time, there is something they must not forget (republic.ru/posts/94899, excerpted at newizv.ru/article/general/08-10-2019/sravneniya-umestny-chem-segodnyashnie-repressii-otlichayutsya-ot-stalinskih).
“All these people are doing what one individual known to all in the country could stop if he had the desire to do so,” Krasheninnikov continues. But “he doesn’t have such a desire” and that forces all of us to conclude that “precisely in him is the cause of all the incidents which are taking place with strange cases and doubtful sentences.”
“Even if many of those who recognize the horror of all that is happening with our society only n recent months or even weeks do not want to blame Putin for everything” but instead continue to appeal to him, even they “are inevitably coming to the conclusion that the single guilty party in all that is taking place is precisely him.”
According to Krashennikov, the lack of an ideology accepted by the majority of the population keeps the authorities from engaging in mass repressions of the Stalinist type and has led them to a more limited and targeted approach directed in the first instance at young people who don’t want Putin’s TV and who are too “cosmopolitan” for him.
Sergey Medvedev, a Moscow political analyst, completely agrees. “However much we would like to think that the system ‘itself’ crushes people, one must not forget that the system is Putin. He doesn’t give orders to do so but generates the political will and demand” for that, and “the system works in the frameworks he sets.”
That is what comparisons between now and 1937 are appropriate, not because the number of people crushed is the same but because those who were and are victims of a single will and the system it established rather than some faceless machine beyond anyone’s control, he suggests.