Russia turns into USSR: Putin turned into a fascist Brezhnev – RFE/RL, NYT on post-election Russia

12:34 Sep. 21, 2016

Putin turned into a fascist Brezhnev – RFE/RL, NYT on post-election Russia

Russia Protest, 25.2.2012 (AP Photo)

Western media came up with unusual analysis of new Russia: one-party state, with new KGB, in Cold War with the world and a leader, who openly admires Russian fascism ideology

Brian Whitmore in his commentary for RFE/RL under the title "That Soviet '70s Show" paid attention on evident turning Russia into an USSR-clone:

"So now Russia effectively has a one-party state.

The ruling United Russia party has taken control of 343 out of 450 seats in the State Duma amid record low turnout and massive reports of electoral fraud.

And pretty soon, Russia may have a new KGB.

According to a widely circulated report in Kommersant, there are plans on the table to create a new Ministry of State Security that would incorporate the Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, and the most of the Federal Protection Service -- effectively recreating the feared the Soviet-era secret police.

And in less than three weeks, Vladimir Putin will turn 64, the same age that Leonid Brezhnev was in 1970 as the Soviet Union was about to enter a decade of economic stagnation and intensified political repression.

Read also Russia to revive Soviet-era KGB after Putin's party wins majority - Telegraph

And he's clearly not going anywhere anytime soon.

Hmm, a one-party state, a new KGB, and an aging leader in the Kremlin. Seems we've seen this movie before.

But while history isn't necessarily repeating itself, neither as tragedy or as farce, all the recent data points suggest that Putin is moving away from the governing model he relied on for most of his rule.

Simulated democracy, managed pluralism, and balancing bureaucratic clans are out. Monolithic rule, elite purges, and outright repression are in.

We may not be going back to that Soviet '70s Show.

But the Putin era is about to enter a new and more sinister phase".


In turn Prof. Timothy Snyder in his article "How a Russian Fascist Is Meddling in America's Election" for NYT pays attention on ideology, praised by Putin, and which is evidently to become the basic for his new Russia.

"The president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, once described the collapse of the Soviet Union as a "geopolitical catastrophe." But the political thinker who today has the most influence on Mr. Putin's Russia is not Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Communist system, but rather Ivan Ilyin, a prophet of Russian fascism.

The brilliant political philosopher has been dead for more than 60 years, but his ideas have found new life in post-Soviet Russia. After 1991, his books were republished with long print runs. President Putin began to cite him in his annual speech to the Federal Assembly, the Russian equivalent of the State of the Union address.

To complete the rehabilitation, Mr. Putin saw to it that Ilyin's corpse was repatriated from Switzerland, and that his archive was returned from Michigan. The Russian president has been seen laying flowers on Ilyin's Moscow grave. And Mr. Putin is not the only disciple of Ilyin among the Kremlin elite.

Vladislav Y. Surkov, Moscow's arch-propagandist, also sees Ilyin as an authority. Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev, who served as president between 2008 and 2012, recommends Ilyin to Russian students. Ilyin figures in the speeches of the foreign minister, the head of the constitutional court and the patriarch of the Orthodox Church.

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What are the ideas that have inspired such esteem?

Ilyin believed that individuality was evil. For him, the "variety of human beings" demonstrated the failure of God to complete the labor of creation and was therefore essentially satanic. By extension, the middle classes, political parties and civil society were also evil, because they encouraged the development of personalities beyond the single identity of the national community.

According to Ilyin, the purpose of politics is to overcome individuality, and establish a "living totality" of the nation. Writing in the 1920s and '30s after his expulsion from the Soviet Union, when he became a leading emigré ideologue of the anti-Communist White Russians, Ilyin looked on Mussolini and Hitler as exemplary leaders who were saving Europe by dissolving democracy. His 1927 article "On Russian Fascism" was addressed to "My White brothers, the fascists." Later, in the 1940s and '50s, he provided the outlines for a constitution of a fascist Holy Russia governed by a "national dictator" who would be "inspired by the spirit of totality."

This leader would be responsible for all functions of government in a completely centralized state. Elections would be held, with open voting and signed ballots, purely as a ritual of support of the leader. The reckoning of votes was irrelevant: "We must reject blind faith in the number of votes and its political significance."

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In the light of Ilyin's rehabilitation as Russia's leading ideologue, Moscow's manipulations of elections should be seen not so much as a failure to implement democracy but as a subversion of the very concept of democracy. Neither the parliamentary elections of December 2011 nor the presidential elections of March 2012 produced a majority for Mr. Putin's party or for Mr. Putin personally. Votes were therefore added to produce a decisive result.

Russians who protested the fixed elections were branded as national enemies. Nongovernmental organizations were forced to register as "foreign agents." Mr. Putin even claimed that Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, "gave the signal" to the Russian opposition to go on the streets. The notion that defending democracy meant betraying Russia was perfectly consistent with Ilyin's view.

Since then, Mr. Putin has relied on Ilyin's authority at every turning point in Russian politics — from his return to power in 2012 to the decision to intervene in Ukraine in 2013 and the annexation of Ukrainian territory in 2014. Last spring, he claimed that the American intelligence services would intervene in the Russian parliamentary elections held this past weekend and in the Russian presidential elections of 2018. The question of whether anyone in the Kremlin actually believes this is beside the point. These claims of constant American interference are intended to show that the democratic process is nothing more than a geopolitical game."

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