Staunton, February 11 – “It is surprising how easily the world changes,” Regnum commentator Yevgeny Tsots says. A month ago, it seemed that pro-Western and anti-Kremlin forces were on the rise and the Kremlin was going to have to retreat before them or suffer a serious defeat.
But a few tough actions by the Putin regime, he suggests, including the arrest and dispatch of Aleksey Navalny to prison and the dismissal of a few Moscow intellectuals from their posts has been enough to change things, something it will be able to maintain if it continues to take a hard line (regnum.ru/news/polit/3188841.html).
Indeed, Tsots says, “if a firm line is continued, the end of the destructive and aggressive actions of those who do not wish our country well will come to an end.” They may be able to maintain a presence on a few online platforms, but they won’t affect the Putin regime and they will rapidly lose the attention of Western governments who back them.
Today, he continues, anyone paying attention to the situation in Russia can see two things. On the one hand, the balance of forces remains overwhelmingly on the side of the government relative to the protesters. And on the other and because this is so, the government really doesn’t have to do too much to “break the back” of the opposition.
The argument Tsots makes undoubtedly is one that reflects the views of many in the Kremlin and the Putin regime more generally and is a signal that the confidence of these people in their positions has been less shaken than many who support the Navalny movement continue to argue.
But it is fairly clear that a month ago, regime loyalists were worried; and now far fewer of them are, yet another development showing how “easily the world changes.”