Zakaria: How oil is propping up Putin

More running than driving. Easy to say though…

Global Public Square

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

If you’re trying to understand the recent protests against the Putin regime in Russia, one of the best guides is an outspoken columnist who’s been writing trenchant essays in the nation’s leading newspapers over the past month.

„Political competition is the heartbeat of democracy,” this author writes, noting the absence of such competition in contemporary Russia. He describes the frustrations of the Russian middle class, demanding political rights.  „Today, the quality of our state does not match civil society’s readiness to participate in it.” On corruption, perhaps the issue that most riles the public, the author is scathing. „The problem comes from the lack of transparency and accountability of government,” he says.

Now, what makes this all deeply strange is that the author of these essays is Vladimir Putin — the architect, builder, and chief enforcer of the system that he is critiquing. Putin seems…

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