Staunton, July 18 – One of the sources of confusion about Russia today is that Vladimir Putin is pursuing a foreign policy much like Hitler’s while conducting a domestic policy that resembles Mussolini’s, a combination, Andrey Piontkovsky says, that justifies calling Putin’s Russia “a mutant fascist state.”
In an interview with Vancouver’s Russian-language radio VeraCanada, the Russian commentator acknowledges that many who object to his calling Putin’s foreign policy a copy of Hitler’s often point to the fact that the Kremlin leader is pursuing a much different domestic policy than the German fuehrer (veracanada.fm/blogs/?page=post&blog=glavred&post_id=388).
Unlike Hitler within Germany, Mussolini over the course of his 20 years in power “arrested only several thousand people and shot about a hundred,” Piontkovsky says. In Russia, there is “officially “no death penalty,” but there are victims of the receive, including opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
Moreover, those sitting in Russian jails, he continues, “are approximately like the ones in fascist Italy.”
In other comments, Piontkovsky says that the level of popular support for Putin is far less than the regime claims, a typical situation in authoritarian regimes when people fear giving the wrong answer. In addition, he says, “the majority of the population categorically reject the war in Ukraine,” even if as a special case they were enthusiastic about seizing Crimea.
And he suggests that everyone should recognize that “80 percent of the population” of Russia as in the case of other countries is “in principle politically indifferent.” Consequently “any political struggle is a clash of active minorities.” And the fate of Russia in the immediate future will be decided by these minorities “and above all those in the capital.”