Saturday, May 8, 2021

As Kremlin Becomes More like Soviet Regime, Its Opponents are Becoming More like Soviet Dissidents, Buzin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 6 – The ways in which Vladimir Putin has restored many of the repressive features of the late Soviet period have attracted enormous attention. But there has been much less appreciation of the ways in which his actions have led his opponents to become more like the dissidents of Soviet times.

            Emblematic of that, Andrey Buzin, a lawyer who is a leader of the Golos Voter Rights group says, is that in the face of a new flood of repressive legislation, Russian opposition groups have revived a dissident slogan from the 1960s and 1970s, “Observe Your Own Constitution!” (россия/20210506-соблюдайте-вашу-конституцию-лозунг-диссидентов-60-х-сегодня-обращен-к-российским-депутатам).

            At that time, dissidents in the USSR spoke out against the repressive laws and policies Moscow adopted by demanding that their rulers live up to their own constitution. Now, opponents of the Putin regime have been put in the same position and are demanding the same thing.

            That not only calls attention to just how far from a law-based state Russia has passed under Putin but also the increasingly limited freedom of action the opposition has, itself perhaps the best if often neglected indication of just how far into the past the Kremlin has dragged the country and just how accurate comparisons between him and Soviet leaders have become.

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