Staunton, March 11 – Vladimir Putin’s arrangement to be president for life and his increasingly authoritarianism reflect his longstanding plans for dictatorial rule, plans that were openly acknowledged by his United Russia ideologists as early as 2007, Irina Pavlova says. They are not something new as some in Moscow and the West appear to believe.
On November 6, 2007, Abdul-Khakim Sultygov, a functionary of United Russia, laid out a program for ensuring that Russia would not be any “sovereign” or “administered” democracy but a dictatorship and that Putin would be the one to head it (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2020/03/blog-post.html).
She recalls that she pointed this out in an essay published at that time, an essay which said that the injection of democratic values into Russia at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s “has turned out to be too weak to provide immunity” against the rise of a new dictatorship (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2015/07/blog-post_4.html).
Yesterday’s vote in the Duma opening the way for Putin to remain in office for the rest of his life is just the final act of this unfortunate drama. Not surprisingly, she adds, as Putin has moved toward dictatorship, he and his regime have successfully shifted Russian public opinion on his role model, Joseph Stalin. And now 70 percent of Russians approve of the Soviet dictator.