Staunton, March 28 – It is often said, Vladislav Inozemtsev says, that “Russia is becoming like the USSR.” But this is “far from the case.” At the end of Soviet times, the country’s political leaders generally did not violate their own laws; but now, all who are part of the Putin powers that be do so “openly and massively.”
The fact that the leaders at the end of the Soviet period generally obeyed their own laws meant that their loss of power did not automatically mean that they would be confronted by criminal charges, the Russian economist says. As a result, they were less afraid to leave office and did not fight to the end (echo.msk.ru/blog/v_inozemcev/2396955-echo/).
But now, the leaders of Putin’s Russia know that if they ever leave office, they will be brought up on charges of violating the laws that they themselves have put in place. Consequently, they will fight to the end. “The current bureaucracy has nowhere to retreat.” And that means that there is little reason to believe that the transition will be easy or peaceful.
Inozemtsev draws those conclusions on the basis of the much-discussed criminal case that has been brought against Mikhail Abyzov, someone who violated the laws the Putin regime put in place but that nearly all of those who are part of that regime have violated as well. This case is a reminder to all the elite of what they could face when Putin goes.