On September 28, 2011, a perfect metaphor for the horror that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia appeared in The Independent, which has over the years been responsible for some of the toughest and most insightful reporting on Russia (hat tip: Streetwise Professor).
The paper wrote about how thousands upon thousands of stray dogs roam the streets of Moscow, how they have killed Muscovites in packs and how they pose all manner of serious health concerns, to say nothing of betraying Russia’s eternal poverty regardless of the propaganda the state may churn out. Yet Russians, idiots that they are, are fighting to keep these dogs on the streets, and do what they can to care for them.
Similarly Josef Stalin is beloved by Russians, even though he murdered more of them than any other person who ever lived.
And similarly, the proud KGB spy and murderer of Starovoitova, of Litvinenko, of Politikovskaya, of Yushenkov, of Shchekochikhin, of Girenko, of Klebnikov, of Kozlov, of Estemirova, of Markelov and of so very many others, known as Vladimir Putin, is being embraced as he declares himself president for life. Lenin, Stalin, Putin.
On April 2, 2006, we warned the world that it would be so.
We formed this blog, and for the next five years, five months and twenty-two days, we warned that Putin would never leave power, that he would consistently reduce Russian democracy and increase its neo-Soviet character until Russia was a fully realized neo-Soviet dictatorship. On September 24, 2011, we were proved finally, horribly, undeniably right.
There were those who said Russia could “never go back” to the dark days of the Soviet past. There were those who said Putin would never return to power, that he would fade into the background and allow Dima Medvedev and his successors to build a civilized democratic state.
They were lying. It was La Russophobe that was telling the truth, all along.
Russians will fight to keep stray dogs on the streets of their capital city, dogs which maul and brutalize them, but they will not fight to keep
Putin out of power. That really says all you need to know about the Russian people of the new millennium. They are, as Robert H. Boyle of Sports Illustrated magazine once called them, “desperately screwed up.”
We are not the only ones to have made this prediction, of course. The brilliant Jeffrey Taylor of The Altantic magazine beat us to it by several years when he called Putin’s Russia “Zaire with permafrost” and “finished” in May 2001. The world didn’t listen to him, either.