Putin’s Plan

SNS was one of the earliest publications to notice (and publish) Vladimir Putin’s comments to a call-in TV show, suggesting that he would retain power even after he leaves the presidential suite. Since then, most US national newspapers have run items and analyses on his performance.

Last week, suggestions were raised that two opposition parties have received funding from Putin or his people, and that the opposition itself may just be a Putin creation designed to avoid real opposition in the next election.

The TV press is now co-opted, and even the printed press is on its way to having to choose, for instance, between reporting on Chechnya and being killed at your apartment door in a contract job.

Now Russia is moving against past Soviet bloc countries, threatening them for past and future behaviors it considers not to be in its interest. A refinery fire in Lithuania last week was said by one of those involved to be Russia’s way of buying the facility without paying market price.

Now Russia appears to have “made up” with China, at least on an economic level, as it signs 17 separate agreements this week for oil and gas delivery to the energy-starved giant – even as it begins to work on moving into European energy and telecommunications stalwarts, including DT.

I am concerned that the Old Russia is back with a vengeance, with a return of fondness among the people for Stalin, and a real-life clone of the brutal dictator as the new President for Life.

What does this mean for Russia, the world, the U.S.?