Putin's Running of Russia "Unacceptable" to the New York Times
November 27, 2007
Exit, Russian Democracy
For a leader who has everything — control of the military, the government, the voting process and the media — President Vladimir Putin of Russia looks increasingly desperate and threatened ahead of parliamentary elections on Sunday. . . his greedy grab for victory while quashing credible political opposition demonstrates that this is no free and fair election and Russia is no democracy.
. . . No one expected a smooth trajectory from the seven decades of Soviet dictatorship to Jeffersonian democracy, but the years under Mr. Putin have been a whipsaw. Buoyed by high oil revenues and a rising economy, he is credited with restoring national pride and stability. But Mr. Putin has so emasculated the democratic institutions that evolved in the 1990s that it is apparent he has little confidence in his people. The Kremlin controls the political process, deciding who can run for office and who gets access to national television coverage.
. . . Wash…