Freedom, Not Democracy, For Russia

Twenty years ago this month, Mikhail Gorbachev began his policies of perestroika and glasnost, which led to the end of the Cold War. Now, however, a new chill has entered relations between Russia and the West. President Vladimir Putin is frequently criticized for taking Russia in the wrong direction. The very people who in 2000 called Putin a man they could do business with are having second thoughts. People once fascinated by Putin now publicly rebuke him.

Putin is shooting back, accusing the West of trying to weaken and dismember Russia. As politicians in the West compare him to Mugabe or Mussolini, Putin’s Kremlin aides invoke the Munich appeasers who tried to push Hitler eastward. Putin himself once blamed the West for trying to channel Muslim radicalism toward Russia.

Why this sharp change in tone? Initially, most nations exiting from Communism reached out, almost instinctively, to their immediate pre-Communist period. The Baltic states revived their constitutions of the 1930’s, the Armenians and the Azeris revived their political parties of the late 1910’s, and Eastern Europe, with the exception of East Germany, which reunited with the Federal Republic, suddenly became once again Mitteleuropa.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/MW5XCVk;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.