Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Putin Can Hope to Survive Only with Repression and Aggression, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 11 – Sunday’s protests and stage-managed elections have an important lesson for Russians and the world: given the existing constellation of forces in Russia today, the only way Vladimir Putin and his regime can survive is by increasing repression and continuing to engage in aggressive wars, according to Igor Eidman.

            It is now clear, the Russian commentator says, that there are “three basic social forces” in Russia: “opposition-minded young people ready to protest, politically indifferent middle aged people … who do not actively support the authorities or the population, and pensioners loyal to the authorities but ready at any moment to betray Putin and back the communists” (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2027947543934881&id=100001589654713).

                According to Eidman, “the Putin regime can’t base itself on any of these categories of citizens. It can rely only on its own oprichniki, that is, on various force structures and special services.” And it can generate enthusiasm only by engaging in aggressive foreign wars and mobilizing the population by its “total propaganda” that the latest enemy is “’beating ours.’”

            “As soon as the situation becomes even somewhat more normal, the population refuses to give the authorities its trust,” he argues.

            “No regime can hold out for long only on the basis of force,” Eidman continues. “In order to guarantee the support of the population, the Kremlin wil be forced to unleash foreign policy conflicts and ‘short victorious wars.’” And it will continue to do so until it suffers in the eyes of the Russian people “obvious defeats.”

            Once that occurs, the Putin regime will suffer a complete loss of popularity” and will face “collapse.”

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