Russia still, outrageously, belongs to the G8 club of big rich Western countries and the Council of Europe, a talking shop that also guards the continent's human rights conventions.
But that should fool nobody.
Russia has explicitly abandoned Western values of political freedom, the rule of law and multilateral security, in favour of its own ideology, "Sovereign democracy".
That is a mixture of xenophobia, nationalism, autocracy, self-righteousness and nostalgia for the Soviet - and Stalinist - past.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Words of Warning
In the Daily Mail, Edward Lucas has some words of stark warning about what is happening to Russia now: