My first article for the Swiss security blog Offiziere is up today. I write about what I think Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin regards as the greatest threat to this presidential reelection. Hint: it’s not the lovely, Westernized liberal youth who protest in the streets of Moscow.
In Russia today, it’s also the downtrodden that are attracted the ideologies — communism and nationalism — that promise a return to the good old days that really weren’t. Putin tells them that economic integration across the former Soviet empire is the solution. He champions freer trade and economic modernization. This, he says, will curb migration from neighboring states and improve the lot of ordinary Russians at the same time.
He’s probably right but it sounds an awful lot like the europhile promises of politicians who see the duel specter of populism and protectionism rise in Europe at a time of crisis. They’re not succeeding and probably won’t until the continent experiences growth and prosperity again.
Click here to read the whole thing.