There is absolutely no doubt that we are witnessing the dismantling of freedom in Russia. The Russian Opposition parties in their parliament are calling for support and warning Putin’s cronies that they will call for a ‘freezing of Russian Assets in the West if the said Government does not stop the repression of dissent.
Make no mistake; if the current trend continues in Russia, we are witnessing a return to the bad old days, when freedom was but a word in the dictionary. Maybe the new Tsar will even expunge that word. Has everything that happened since the fall of the Soviet Union been in vain? Are we seeing the rise of a new despot? Yes, we see the odd news report of dissenting protesters, but the vast majority of Russian people either don’t care (sounds a bit like the situation in the USA, where many don’t even bother to vote) or are too scared to vent their real feelings.
Perhaps the struggle to put bread on the table takes all their energy. After all, despite the fact that there is a large middle class in the new Russia, there are still many who have not been able to claim a stake on the new Russia.
The events in modern Russia serve as a warning to all who love freedom, that it is not to be taken for granted, even here in New Zealand.