‘Neo-totalitarian’ Russia the most potent ‘existential threat’ to West


russia kasparovRussia is the most potent existential threat to the U.S. and Western democracy, according to several U.S. generals, Foreign Policy reports.

“Some people think that following Boris Nemtsov’s murder Russia transitioned into a new sociopolitical condition. Do you agree with this opinion?” the Institute of Modern Russia’s Leonid Martynyuk asks Garry Kasparov.

“Even earthshaking events, like the killing of a person of Boris Nemtsov’s stature, don’t change the situation so much as they reveal what is already taking place. The very fact that the authorities practically sanctioned this killing shows us the chasm that has opened in front of us,” he contends, arguing that Russia is almost totalitarian.

Like former totalitarian and contemporary authoritarian regimes, Putin’s Russia mobilizes extra-parliamentary or uncivil society groups, like the Night Wolves biker gangs, Russian journalist Ksenia Babich writes for Open Democracy.

But analysts differ on the precise historical parallels appropriate for characterizing Putinism, notes Russia analyst Paul Goble.

“Those who try to compare Putin with Hitler are incorrect,” Vladislav Inozemtsev says. “The Russian president doesn’t aspire to world rule and he isn’t infected with a sense of racial superiority … [Instead,] the ideal of the current Russian elite is the fascist corporate state a la Mussolini.” In short, “Putin is a duce, not a fuehrer.”

After the Maidan, the government-controlled Russian media began talking about the new powers that be in Ukraine as “’a fascist junta,’” but “as often happens with the current Russian regime, the Kremlin accused Kyiv of what is flourishing in Moscow today,” the analyst says.

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