The Washington Post said that at a time when the Kremlin expects a “hostile” stance from Washington under President-elect Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin is changing the course of his policies on two fronts, by accelerating his pace to impose a total authoritarian grip at home and by escalating Speech of defiance against the West.
The newspaper stated – in a report by the editor of international affairs and director of the Moscow office, Robin Dickson – that the space of tolerance that was reluctantly granted to the opposition and protest movements has been abandoned, and the Kremlin in particular is targeting the United States ahead of the date of the transfer of power to its officially elected president on January 20. Next.
Last Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that relations with Washington “are going from bad to worse,” adding that his country does not expect “anything good” from the next American president, suggesting adopting a policy of “complete deterrence” towards the United States with a minimum of dialogue. .
Enemies of Russia
The newspaper emphasized that the escalatory tone and policy of “Putin’s Russia” against the West and the opposition at home reflects a perception that they are considered “enemies” working hand in hand to undermine Russia, especially in light of expectations that the next White House resident will adopt a hard line against Moscow, and with a slight decline in Putin’s popularity before Parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.
According to this point of view – the newspaper adds – every journalist or critic blogger is considered a “potential terrorist, extremist or spy,” and civil activists and NGOs can be described as “agents” who communicate with foreign parties.
And Andrei Kolesnikov, a political analyst at the Carnegie Center in Moscow, believes that a set of repressive laws recently enacted indicates Russia’s de facto transformation from a partially tyrannical country to a complete tyranny.
He added, “There is an open war against civil society” in Russia, referring to the Kremlin’s growing concern that Putin – who can legally remain in power until 2036 – may one day face protests like the one that erupted in neighboring Belarus, where the opposition and Western countries have condemned the election results. The presidency last August and considered it “fraudulent.”
The “Washington Post” confirms that President Putin has always been a quarrelsome, adventurous, and ignorant leader of Western liberalism, but he is currently sending tougher signals and unity to Biden and his presidential team, which he believes is full of “Russian terrorism” propagandists.
In recent weeks, Moscow launched a series of missile tests, and Putin boasted of a “cosmic change” in the range of weapons his country produces, vowing to remain one step ahead of other competitors in developing hypersonic and other advanced weapons.
On the other hand, the newspaper reported that the recent approval of a series of legislations in the State Duma (Parliament) has led to restrictions on the right to protest, facilitated the targeting of opponents and activists, and gave the authorities a wider scope to classify individuals as “foreign agents”. The federal government also seeks to limit foreign websites such as Twitter. And Facebook and YouTube.
Under the new laws, the Russian president enjoys immunity from prosecution for life, and information has become “classified” regarding the financial and personal affairs of millions of members of the intelligence, security, judiciary, law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies, the army and their relatives.
On the other hand, new legislation was enacted, apparently targeting Alexei Navalny, a prominent opponent and the only political rival to Putin, and his colleagues in an institution he heads that investigated suspected corruption of figures belonging to the president’s inner circle.
Vladislav Inozimtsev, a political analyst at the Center for Post-Industrial Studies in Moscow, describes the current internal situation, saying, “Our country has become an occupying state … Putin is here to stay forever … he will not step down. If you are going to stay another 15 or 20 years in the Kremlin, you have to tighten the grip on.” Everything because the protests will certainly not back down. Therefore, this shift to tyranny is quite clear, and it will go further. “