The coming presidential elections in Russia are interesting because the Russians seem to be abandoning the rule of law and democratic institutions little by little. The chaos and cleptocracy that emerged after hasty and ill-thought out privatization of the nations wealth following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union both prepared the stage, and in fact necessiated extraordinarily heavy handed rule. The question now is what a undemocratic Russia, sitting on enormous oil nad gas-reserves means for Europe and the US.
This article considers the meaning of the coming election, and appeared in the LA times today.
"Whether the next president is called Zubkov, Ivanov or Putin, he'll still be the product of a political system that remains mystifyingly opaque, and we shouldn't forget it."
Does This Mystery Matter?
By Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, September 18, 2007; A19
Russian President Vladimir Putin sacked his prime minister last week and replaced him with one Viktor Zubkov, an obscure official never before mentioned as a potential leader. Wondering why? Here are a few of the rumors in circulation:
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