Staunton, April 27 – In what Sergey Shelin describes as an unprecedented development, the leaders of Russia today have withdrawn “into a closed conspiratorial world” in which they assess all actions, however innocent, as the first steps toward a color revolution to overthrow the regime and thus feel compelled to crush it before that happens.
As a result of this paranoid fear, the Rosbalt commentator says, the powers that be lash out at anyone who seems at all a potential threat and do not feel any need to define not only a picture of a desirable future but even “an image of a desired present, something that results in ever more irrational repression (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2021/04/27/1899495.html).
Because the Russian people know the consequences of acting independently, they become ever more obedient; but instead of that satisfying the men in the Kremlin, it leads the Putin regime to “scrutinize the population ever more closely” and to find threats where none exist in order to create a situation where no one’s behavior can guarantee any personal safety.
Not surprisingly, the Putin regime particularly dislikes the intelligentsia and young people because it sees in their searching and independence of mind a threat. Hence the regime’s new law restricting “enlightenment activity,” a measure whose provisions surpass all the fears critics of the Kremlin had made in the past.
These provisions reflect Putin’s conviction that as he put it, “the actual goals of their [the opposition] is the creation of conditions for changing the foundations of the constitutional system, including via the use of color revolution scenarios.” Now, such people are throwing bottles and stones, but soon they will do worse. And they must be stopped before they can.
“I have no doubt that Vladimir Putin sees reality exactly as he has said,” Shelin continues. Otherwise, what he has been doing makes no sense at all. For him, today’s peaceful protests open the way to shooting and then to a color revolution. For him, scholarly contacts with foreigners are about espionage because that it what such contacts must lead to, in his mind.
But by treating people in this way and openly acknowledging his own logic, Putin is creating an increasingly unstable situation, one in which ever more people can see precisely what he is about and in which at least some will be compelled to conclude that such madness must not be allowed to continue.