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Putin = Mugabe

Yet another demonstration in Moscow has attracted tens of thousands of people to take a stand against the idea that Vladimir Putin can return to the Presidency of Russia that he only vacated in 2008.

The fact is that whatever the expressed will of the Russian people, it has already been overruled by the will of Vladimir Putin himself. Mr. Putin is determined to maintain his power, even in the face of determined protest.

Some, including the gaoled tycoon, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, suggest that change is inevitable in Russia, but to me this underestimates the tenacity of Putin- a man who glories in the name of "Chekist" and continues to lament the fall of the USSR.

The Cheka was the extraordinarily brutal secret police established after the Bolshevik seizure of power which inflicted mass murder upon the population of Russia and beyond in order to impose the will of Lenin and Stalin. The founder of the Cheka, a Polish nobleman, Feliks Dzierzynski, was a man of twisted integrity who utter subsumed his personality to the will of the murderous ideology he served. It is this barbarian for whom Putin expresses the greatest of admiration. The subsequent incarnations of the Cheka: OGPU, NKVD, MVD, MGB, KGB as well as the Cheka itself, committed crimes on an industrial scale, untramelled by the slightest scruple, let alone a single shred of decency. As feared and hated as the Nazi Gestapo and with even more blood on its hands, the Soviet organs of state security remain unpunished, and under Vladimir Putin they are even praised for their despicable and vile crimes.

I do not think that we can trust to the tender mercies of a man formed by such a criminal organisation as the KGB, and one who, moreover, continues to use the same methods, as the astonishing death toll among Russian journalists and the public murder of Aleksander Litvinenko in London, amongst others, testifies all too starkly.

Even the supposed "assassination plot" against Putin- conveniently discovered a week before the election- smacks more of a KGB plot than of any genuine conspiracy.

So Vladimir Putin will, continue in office and will continue to cozy up to the enemies of the West, like Hugo Chavez or Bashar Al-Assad- funded by the high price of oil that his political meddling in the middle east conveniently supports. 

Meanwhile, unless the Russian people can take responsibility for their own affairs, the despair that is fueling a mass exit of the young from the Russian Kleptocracy will only grow. The failure of the past is not the solution of the future- and maybe eventually there will be a real conspiracy.

As with Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, it seems that the only way to remove the Chekist-inspired leader in Russia will indeed be when he eventually dies- he will never leave office willingly. 

Tragically, the damage he can do to Russia and the world before this will be profound and long lasting. 


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