Alarming News

February 24, 2004

Alarming, indeed (By Guest Blogger Candace)

If she hasn’t posted in ages, is she still a guest blogger?

I think so.

I thought I would share the news that today, President Vladimir Putin of Russia has dismissed the federal government.

Just one of many idiosyncracies of the Russian constitution, I suppose. And another shameless display of authoritarian power.

It’s not actually all that shocking, really. Independent thinking anywhere, let alone among government officials, isn’t typically approved of by Mr. Putin. And Prime Minister Kasianov wasn’t so comfortable after having criticized the Yukos affair.

Furthermore, criticisms of Kasianov were bolstered last week by critical economic adviser Andrei Illarionov’s poor grading of the federal government’s economic policies.

Public reaction should be positive. Kasianov is the last major holdover from the not-so-much-loved Yeltsin administration, which initially thought it would keep power in “the family” as it were by passing power on to this no-name KGB guy back on New Year’s Eve four years ago.

Already, Putin’s opponents for the March election are dropping out. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, this move has on that trend, not to mention his ratings.

Just imagine an America where Bush, for example, dismissed Colin Powell and all of his State Department advisers three weeks before the reelection.

Not to be suggestive or anything.

Posted by Karol at 01:44 PM |
Comments

You are always welcome, guest blogger. :-)

Posted by: Karol at February 24, 2004 at 2:37 pm

I posted on this too! Actually, I’ve instituted a regular Russia watch over at Clareified because I don’t think this is the last of Putin’s eyebrow-raising behavior. I’ve got my eye on you too Karol, just so you know. :)

Posted by: Dawn Summers at February 24, 2004 at 3:20 pm

K – Thanks. :) Dawn – as a student of Russia, let me say of course it’s not, and not the beginning either! If you want to reallly do a Russia watch though you have to go beyond even RFE/RL and sign up for David Johnson’s Russia list, if you’re not already there. Email DavidJohnson@erols.com and request to be added. He sends updates 2-3 times a day (1-2 on the weekends) with just about every decent mention of Russia in the news, in think tanks, and among scholars, who will often debate on the list. It’s totally worthwhile, but something of a time commitment to read every day. You could at least get it for the headlines, if you don’t mind the Inbox flooding! :)

Posted by: candace at February 24, 2004 at 3:35 pm

Thanks for the tip Candace!

Posted by: Dawn Summers at February 24, 2004 at 5:23 pm

Your posts are a bit like the old saying regarding buses – you wait ages for one, and two come along at once.
Thought that the link on slate was a bit harsh on Colin – his so called outburst seemed like a mild rebuke as opposed to a hissy fit. It does seem (from the limited amount I have heard recently) that Powell, ever the loyal soldier, seems willing to take the flak over WMDs. From the reporting around the time, it seemed that Powell was in a minority over some of his views. I for one was glad that he was around to influence things. He seems to have stayed outwardly loyal to Bush. Do you think that would be the case if Bush sacked him. I think it was your President Johnson that once said, “better to have the bastards inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in”
Actually, no, what does that pinko J**nson know? Start campaigning to dismiss Powell immediately !

Posted by: Bobby at February 24, 2004 at 7:17 pm

*Sigh* I was hoping Von Bek would have shared some wisdom on this issue, by now!

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