Russia’s great leap backwards


When Vladimir Putin dreamed of restoring the glory of the Russian empire by invading Ukraine, he was also restoring the terror of Josef Stalin. That is not only because he has unleashed the most violent act of unprovoked aggression in Europe since 1939, but also because at home he is resorting as never before to lies, violence and paranoia, The Economist reports:

The last time Russia experienced such rapid, destructive change, according to many, was in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse, when the majority of today’s Russians were either children or not yet born and the firms now leaving had not arrived. In political and social terms it may be necessary to go back almost a century to find a parallel: to 1929, when Stalin liquidated the entrepreneurial class to consolidate his power. Mr Putin’s war was not deliberately engineered to destroy today’s urban, educated middle class. But the people and firms it harms most are those most integrated into the global economy, and thus those for which, in general, he has least sympathy. RTWT

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