Wednesday, December 28, 2005

russia no longer democratic

Andrei Illarionov, Vladimir Putin's top economic adviser, quit or was fired on Tuesday. Last week at an annual press conference, Illarionov made that classic politician's mistake: he told the truth. "This year Russia has become a different country. It is no longer a democratic country. It is no longer a free country."

So his departure wasn't surprising. Putin doesn't much like dissent, putting him comfortably in a class with his distinguished Communist and Czarist predecessors on the throne of Russia.

I still don't know what Bush thought he was seeing when he said he had looked into Putin's soul back when they first met in 2001. Given his growing acceptance of torture and domestic spying, maybe Putin's eyes were just mirroring Bush' soul...