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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Putin, Pining For The Old Days

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pining for the days before the fall of the Soviet Union, calling its collapse "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century" and a "genuine tragedy" for the Russian people. That's because he was a member of both the KGB and the Soviet upper-class, so he remembers the power and corruption fondly. I was in Moscow while it was still communist, and I can tell you firsthand that the people of that city were not as well off as Putin and his pals may remember them being. Russia may not have found its footing in democracy yet, but going back to the system of oppression, to the days when the Cold War crushed their economy and kept your average Ivan from ever getting ahead, is by no means the answer. With this attitude, Putin is certainly not the man to lead them to a prosperous future.