Thursday, March 23, 2006

Different Strokes

In Yezhednevnyi Zhurnal, Alexander Ryklin writes that in a recent phone-in poll, the Ekho Moskvy radio station asked its listeners a hypothetical question: “Who would you vote for as the future president of Russia - Lukashenko or Putin?” The answer was 82% for Lukashenko, and only 18% for Putin. Ryklin comments:
There is no doubt at all that the main difference between Putin and Lukashenko lies not in the fact that one of them will not accept liberalism on principle, while the other just keeps talking about how Russia needs a special kind of democracy. i.e. - a managed one. Of course, both ideologically and mentally they are very close to each other, and their understanding of the nature of power is more or less the same. It is simply that the situations of their lives have developed differently. Lukashenko isn't faced with the task of legalizing his capital in the West - for him, the West is closed. But Putin, on the other hand, dreams of meeting old age in a quiet, comfortable place not far from a large European city. Hence the dualism in his behaviour. It looks as though our home-grown patriots have already understood this. At least, the voting at "Echo" definitely bears witness to it
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