Staunton, January 28 – A consensus has emerged among opposition analysts in Russia and some observers in the West that the regime Vladimir Putin has put in place is a fascist one. But fascism is a category that includes a relatively wide range of authoritarian and lawless regimes.
Few equate Putinism with Hitlerism. More do so with Mussolini’s original fascist state. But Moscow commentator Dmitry Milin argues that the Putin system as theory and practic is perhaps best described as “fascism of the Latin American type with an aging caudillo” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=60126B0738036).
He offers six features of the Putin regime to justify that comparison:
1. Putin’s Russia like Latin American states of that kind has “’death squadrons,’” which engage in extra-judicial murders on orders from the dictator.
2. The government’s security police, the FSB in Russia’s case, is a criminal organization that has grown into a monster that is not under control and threatens the citizens of Russia.
3. Like such Latin American states, “Russia is a country of absolute illegality” which seeks to give itself the image of a law-based state by adopting “an enormous number of laws which de facto suspend the actions of the Constitution.”
4. Again like its counterparts in South America, Russia now is a fascist dictatorship of those who steal from the public trough and are so corrupt that they will kill for the right to continue to be able to get money this way.
5. When the state runs out of one source of income, it looks to others, including the population which it will exploit in order to meet the demands of its officials and siloviki for ever more money.
6. And like its Latin American counterparts, the Putin regime does not have any other means to retain power besides repression and “for repression, it will use any, even the most outrageous notions, like ‘violations of sanitary-epidemiological norms,’” to impose them.