A decade ago, the people of Russia were moving in the direction of creating a modern democratic society in which diverse views could be expressed, but the arrival of Vladmir Putin on the scene has transformed this glorious hope of a new era into the repression that was so common in the Soviet Union. A wave of protests is sweeping across Russia and hundreds of its proponents are being hauled off by the police or disturbing the peace. In Putin, Russia, one must request permission of the government in order to speak, but those who speak for PUtin always receive the answer of,”yes.”
Gary Kasparov, and other prominent liberals launched a new anti-Kremlin movement the past few days. “We are fighting for victory because we have something to say to our people and something to offer them,” said Kasparov. Unfortunately, too many Russians associate liberal democracy with the kleptocracy which highlighted the post-Soviet Union years. Hopefully, a new generation of Russian liberals can prove that economic prosperity and democracy can go hand-in-hand.