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The Putin catastrophe

24 April 2007

"I think he will be best remembered as the person who really ultimately did save the arrival of democracy in Russia," Mr Howard told ABC radio."

But Russian democracy has been all but buried by his successor.

Vladimir Putin breaks up opposition meetings with riot police, arrests and bashes opposition leaders, and murders expatriate critics. He also now controls almost the entire mainstream media. What journalists can and can’t write is now dictated to them.

As Stalin once said - vis a vis his own overweaning power, and popularity: "Russians are czarists."

If true, that failing has cost them millions of lives, and will cost more.

Boris might have saved (in Howard's words) the "arrival" of democracy in Russia; Vlad the Democracy-Impaler is certainly ensuring its departure.

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