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The Autocratic Model
Putin’s Russia: Enabler of Repression

The findings of Freedom House’s Nations in Transit report point to Russia’s role as model and enabler for Eurasia’s autocracies.

Published on: July 7, 2014
Arch Puddington and David J. Kramer are vice president for research and president, respectively, at Freedom House.
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  • Thirdsyphon

    I’m not at all sure that the United States waged the Cold War out of a conviction that “freedom belongs to all people.” We were happy to support (and, indeed, to occasionally overthrow representative governments to create) all manner of distasteful authoritatian regimes, just so long as it was understood that they were our authoritarian regimes, and not the Kremlin’s. If we want democracy to regain its power to appeal to the people of the world, then its leading practitioners (like the United States) need to show the world that it can work. For more than a decade now, the world has been looking at established democracies and seeing rudderless drift and stagnation; and when it turns its attention to emerging democracies, all it sees is sectarian purges and chaos.

    • Loader2000

      Keep in mind that it took Germany over 100 years to really, truely adopt representative democracy after the US and England (more or less) had adopted it. The expectation that once the iron curtain came down, everything would be good within 10 or 20 years was never realistic. Expect another 50-100 years to see if democracy can and will take hold in East Europe and the Mid-East.

  • ShadrachSmith

    I’m so worried about the reduction of freedom in America under Obama, that everybody else can take care of themselves for a while. We are going Banana Republic right here at home.

    • Zolicon

      You cannot have a reduction in that which You never had.
      If You remember the draft You will know that You only have the freedom they allow You to have.
      And if things get to bad for them and Their life style they have the power to take away all of those freedoms and order You to do exactly what they tell You to do.Still think You have freedom ?

      • Loader2000

        Give me a break, I could build a wooden effigy of President Obama and burn it on my front lawn with the national press corps filming and NOTHING serious would happen to me and I wouldn’t be the least bit afraid. We have our problems in the US and some of them are pretty serious, but I think you are exaggerating a little bit, or, at the very least, are not familiar with US culture and institutions.

        • Zolicon

          Are You in the K.K.K ?

          • Loader2000

            I’m not in the KKK. The example I gave above was not an example of something I want to do, just an example of something I could do.

          • Zolicon

            Okay here is an example of something I could do.
            I could set off a Nuke deep enough in the Earth that it would blow the Earths core out into Outer Space,But oh wait that is something I want to do not just an example of what I could do.

  • ObamaMomFuker

    Obama stupid black monkey

  • Алексей Кузнецов

    “Putin got it dead wrong, of course. The real tragedy of the post-Soviet sphere is blah-blah-blah”

    Two narcissistic Americans argue what is good for Russia.
    Why not to ask about it Russians?

  • Edward Ibraev

    You are given the “freedom” of speech only for you to wonder what is going on around you. Your freedom of speech is manifested only in the idiotic statements press secretaries and other officials.

  • Oleg Silakov

    Двое самодовольных надутых индюков рассуждают о том, что для меня трагедия, а что нет.

  • redfox

    Arch Paddington, David Kramer, invented or the state Department suggested?
    What is the US – the Empire of good? With total control, expansionist wars, abductions, secret killings???

  • Pax Orbis

    Help me, I’m being so much repressed in Putin’s Russia!

    – Russian-Canadian in Russia

    • Loader2000

      The true test of freedom would be for a large newspaper in a country to publish evidence of corruption against the leader of that country or against one of the leader’s rich, well connected supporters in industry. What would happen to the newspaper and the journalist who published such evidence. Would they go to jail. Would the government, like they did in Venezuela, start passing regulations making it difficult for that newspaper to stay in business? If the journalist refused to heed discrete warnings from the government, who he/she find himself dead or in prison? These are the questions we should all be asking if we want to know if we are truely free. There are shades of oppression and just because our neighbors aren’t reporting any unpatriotic conversations they here to the secret police, doesn’t mean we are free or that everything is well.

      • Pax Orbis

        Contrary to the picture the Western media outlets are trying to paint of Russia – her leadership and the government are constantly being scrutinized and criticized in the Russian media: TV, print, radio, and the Internet.

  • Pax Orbis

    “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.” Putin got it dead wrong, of course.

    Of course! By default, Putin cannot get anything right!

    /sarcasm off.

    Here’s another quote by Putin: “those who don’t regret the fall of the Soviet Union have no heart; those who want to resurrect it that form have no brains.”

    • Дмитрий Ка

      That’s because USSR had Global Idea in it’s core. We were risen as builders of Great Bright Future. Such naive.
      Now we don’t have any idea. It really sucks.

      • Pax Orbis

        If you do your research, you’ll find that USSR’s global ambitions were buried at the Third International when the policy of non-intervention was adopted. Those who still supported a global socialist revolution, the Trotsyists, were deported from the country. And let’s not forget who the early communists and revolutionaries in Russia were (those original advocates of using the Russian blood as a fuel for a world socialist revolution), where they came from, and who funded them.

        As for a national idea, it is true that the Constitution of Russia forbids any kind of state ideology. Whether it is good or bad is up for a debate in another topic.

  • Pax Orbis

    “The United States was inspired to wage the Cold War for more than four
    decades by the proposition that freedom belongs to all people.”

    This sounds quote dilettantish for a media outlet calling itself “the American Interest”.

    The United States was/is involved in the Cold War because it had/has to protect its interests – the advancement of its hegemonic, imperial ambitions in order to expand and preserve Pax Americana.

    US military doctrine: Officially known as full-spectrum superiority and defined by the U.S. military as: The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains and information environment that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.

    • Pax Orbis

      “information environment” = Western-style propaganda

  • Pax Orbis
    – there’s not a single year of peace in the whole history of your country’s existence.
    – includes cases of removal from office by force of democratically-elected leaders. Ukraine will soon be added to that list.

    The U.S. economy is built upon a principle of a perpetual war.

    But, let’s demonize Putin’s Russia instead!

    • Loader2000

      Comon Pax Orbis, you seem like a smart person. I think you should actually read what kind of ‘military actions’ are listed year by year in that first article you link to. Moving a squadron of F-16’s from NC to Egypt for joint military exercises is not war. If you are going to make a statement like ‘there’s not a single year of peace in the whole history of your country’s existence.’ then you better back it up hardcore or people are not going to take you seriously.

      • Pax Orbis

        Even if some of those were just joint military exercises, they still helped advance U.S. imperial agenda for a global domination.

        Otherwise, please do explain under what circumstances and for what purpose thousands of U.S. military bases and installations spouted around the world.

        Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll use this one as an example to convey my message:

  • Дмитрий Ка

    Stop posting this ridiculous nonsense! I’m from Russia. Situation is not so bad as you speak.

    The real freedom-breakers is our Orthodox Christian Church. They foiled Marlyn Manson’s show in Moscow. Not VVPutin!

    Though law against gey-propoganda is really exist. Can’t say it’s really affects anything. I have no hate or love for homosexuality.

    And, at least we don’t kill homosexuals like in some arabic countries,ok?

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