Vladimir Putin
This idea of a “managed democracy” in Russia reeks of a one man dictatorship and old fashioned soviet corruption. Looks like Putin found the formula for staying an iron fist dictator while enjoying the status of an International member of the Western political arena. Showing us all that nothing changes after all. With a history of murder, corruption and abuse we now see that Russia is enjoying more of the same.

Anna PolitkovskayaAnna Politkovskaya’s assassination October 7th was an obvious Red flag. Despite the brutal contract killing, the video tape of the killer and the lame attempts by Russian authorities in solving the crime (surprise, surprise) – no leads were found. Imagine for a second this happened today in a Western country. A leading civil rights, established journalist is gunned down outside her apartment building and no one is held accountable.

On Saturday, Movladi Baisarov, a man described by every news publication on the planet as “former head of Chechnya’s shadowy security forces”, was shot outside his apartment block in Moscow. The Russian authorities claimed that he was killed while resisting arrest and after he attempted to detonate a hand grenade. Local reports claim that Baisarov, a leading critic and rival of Ramzan Kadyrov, the 30 year old Chechen Prime Minister backed by Kremlin, was riddled with bullets fired by the Chechen special forces and Russian intelligence officers (FSB) who had ambushed him. The same Kadyrov is also linked to the murder of the journalist.

And now, Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident mysteriously poisoned in London early this month is now in hospital under armed guard. I am sure that Russian authorities are going to blame some bad sushi for that one.

The Federal Security Bureau (FSB) is being used by Siloviki, a faction in the Kremlin made up of ex KGB officers, who are now more powerful then ever. These members are now holding top positions in the energy sector that is being again taken over by the government. The FSB has received a fivefold increase in “intelligence” funding in the past 6 years, all courtesy of the Russian President Vladimir Putin – A KGB alumnus.

And the people? They are shit scared. And Putin? He will need to step down in 2008 but until then – hey the sky’s the limit !

Hat Tip: The Age