And no, I am not referring to non-existent global warming. Instead, I give you, courtesy of the WSJ, the latest example of Putin's iron fist, this time covered carefully in a velvet glove! - not, I hasten to add, that this is due to any delicacy on his part but more because of his desire to avoid bad international publicity in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics. So, a certain Mr. Sergei Udaltsov, apparantly a constant critic of the Kremlin, has been ordered into home detention and forbidden to contact the outside world:
Speaking before the order was issued, Mr. Udaltsov called it the latest in a
series of small steps that the Kremlin hopes will pass unnoticed in Russia and
the west but that are silencing Russia's opposition.
The order will last until April, pending the outcome of a criminal
investigation against Mr. Udaltsov for allegedly plotting to incite mass
"It's the same as if I were in a jail cell, but for the authorities this
doesn't look as bad as if they threw me in jail," said Mr. Udaltsov, who said it
would effectively block him from any political activity.
He is but the latest and will certainly not be the last. Putin and his apparat in the Kremlin truly are a disgusting bunch of mobsters. The only good thing to be said about them is that their blatant gangsterism is inimical to the growth of Russian strength and progress. Instead they are constructing a corrupt, shaky, inefficient edifice likely to collapse sooner rather than later due to - irony alert! - its 'internal contradictions'!