Michael Kokot (Moskau, Kommentar) “Die Angst vor einer Zukunft ohne Putin; Wladimir Putin regiert Russland unangefochten wie selten zuvor; Selbst Kritiker des Präsidenten haben inzwischen Angst, nach ihm könne etwas viel Schlimmeres kommen,” Die Zeit, 26. Juni 2015 (10:19 Uhr).
An intriguing article in Die Zeit quotes former leading critics of Vladimir Putin as being apprehensive about those who might assume power when he is gone. These “new Stalinists” could be much worse than Putin according to some.
What these quotes from former Putin critics show unmistakably, however, is how effective Putin’s repression, made palpable with the assassination of Boris Nemtsov on February 27, 2015, has become. This has reached the point where even his critics are now quoted as saying he is the lesser evil, reflecting a position of tacit support.
They could be right. We still don’t understand what was going on during Putin’s disappearance for 11 days less than a week after the Nemtsov murder. Or what was going on with the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
But is it not just as possible that the Russian dictator has gotten to these former critics, with Nemtsov as an example of what could happen to them, and is now obliging them to give voice to a new Kremlin line that in effect bolsters Putin, while serving as a warning to those who oppose him abroad to be careful, or much worse could come?
It’s an intriguing question: Are new Stalinists waiting in the wings, or has Putin himself become the new Stalinist?
The Trenchant Observer