National Security

Russia to Democracy: I’m Just Not That Into You

It seems we cover our pal Vlad an inordinate amount of time. But why not? He’s not only a Bond villain, but highly entertaining as only a true Autocrat of all The Russias can be. As per his attitude towards democracy? Meh.

The latest incarnation of the slow slide to modern czarist rule is a new law to be signed by Putin that criminalizes “insults” to the state. By empirical extension that also means insults to Vlad, his cronies, and, for good retro measure, Nikolai Yezhov and Albert Anastasia.

It also has some nice parts about blocking “fake news.” If you publish said fakery online you will have one day after notification by the regime to remove it. If you don’t the authorities will do it for you and possibly suspend your online privileges. Even the Communist rump in the Duma took semi-umbrage to that.

Russia, stop trying to make freedom of speech happen. It’s not going to happen.

Gone are the heady days when rebel Western hero Boris Yeltsin drunkenly cavorted with Bill Clinton on stage like a badly trained bear, much to the chortling of the world. The former Sovs were legitimately embarrassed by such nekulturny buffoonery, and when Yeltsin took Putin out of relative St. Petersburg obscurity and tapped him as successor the power swung hard the other way.

Yup. No one accuses Vlad of being a laugh riot.

This is the salami strategy when it comes to the erosion of any potential Russian democratic future. Chip away little by little at what’s left of individual political liberty until you wake up one morning and see it has all been removed so gradually you hardly noticed.

It is happening there. Let’s hope future generations of Americans don’t have to remember when it began to happen here.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
David Kamioner

A veteran of service with US Army Intelligence, the Pershing Nuclear Brigade, and the First Infantry Division, Kamioner is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s European Division and spent over twenty years as a political consultant, college instructor, non-profit director, and corporate PR director. He hails from New York City and grew up in South Florida. He served with the American Red Cross as part of the relief effort for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. For several years he ran homeless shelters, most recently homeless shelters for US military veterans. He currently is a Senior Contributor for OpsLens.com, a writer for American Greatness, and has been published in LifeZette. He is the author of the novel "Prisoner of the Chattering Class" and lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

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