Monday, June 7, 2021

Russia Repeating Tragic Cycle of 25 Years Ago, Chuvash Commentator Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 5 – Now as at the end of the 1990s, Russians have become disappointed in democracy because it did not bring with it prosperity have foolishly decided that only the strong hand of a dictator could improve their lives, Andrey Kibech says. He couldn’t and can’t and so their anger only has grown.

            The senior Chuvash commentator says that he pointed that out in an article 23 years ago in Sovetskaya Chuvashiya but that his words then could apply with equal or greater force now. And he cites his key points from 1998 to point to the fundamental problems of 2021 (

            At that time, he wrote that “the long expectation of positive changes in the economy led part of society to lose faith in the democratic course of Russia and together with this to lose faith in the leadership of the country and especially the president. The desire for a strong hand only grew. And preference will be given to someone prepared to fight the corrupt officialdom.”

            That preference, he continued, led as it had so often in the past to “the search for enemies, war against one’s own compatriots, including relatives, with a tyrant and the ordinary repressor in one place and the people transformed into an obedient crowd. Having given birth to a tyrant, it will itself lose freedom and fall into slavery.”

            “Tyrannical power as history shows undoubtedly is strong and long-lasting, based as it is on the mechanisms of suppression and fear. The tyrant’s orders are filled obediently. A law-abiding society is formed but it is a frightened society. Any disagreement is persecuted, and progress stops.”

            “Again, there is a lagging behind other countries, international isolation, a transition to militarism and an ever greater deterioration of the lives of people.” Despite that, Moscow firmly maintains its course because it doesn’t listen to the population which is only becoming ever more angry.

            Both those who earlier became disappointed in democracy and are disappointed in it now and those who hope for a democratic future, he suggests, should learn from this, the first that giving up democracy to get economic growth won’t work and the second that the temptation to give up democracy has not gone anywhere and won’t with the passage of any one leader.

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