In contemporary Russia, unlike the old USSR or present-day North Korea, the stage is constantly changing: the country is a dictatorship in the morning, a democracy at lunch, an oligarchy by suppertime, while, backstage, oil companies are expropriated, journalists killed, billions siphoned away. [Vladislav] Surkov is at the centre of the show, sponsoring nationalist skinheads one moment, backing human rights groups the next. It’s a strategy of power based on keeping any opposition there may be constantly confused, a ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because it’s indefinable.Link. So Peter Pomerantsev on the power behind the Putin throne. The headline says "Putin's Rasputin," though I suspect Pomerantsev might not have fancied the choice of labels. By all accounts Rasputin was an authentic nutter who held a gullible Tsarina in thrall. Surkov--and Putin, and the other one--may actually know what they are doing. So much the worse for Russia.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Russia as Postmodernist Theatre
Meet the New Dictatorship, not quite like the Old Dictatorship: