The British Council was warned by the Russian Foreign Ministry not to attempt any reopening of its offices since the Russian government does not recognize its work or intentions. The British Council is a cultural arm of the its nation’s embassy and does not engage in political activities, but in Putin’s Russia any form of dissent it liable to be met with silence or closure. Not logical reason has been given to a non-government organization that focuses on cultural issues. The situation for dissent within Russia is no better. National Bolshevik activist, Maria Bideda, was assaulted before her apartment because she participated in open activities against the government. A colleague, Mikhail Kamyrin, was beaten to death in December for participating in a protest against the government.
The sadness of Putin’s governance continues. He had an opportunity to become a true statesman and leader of his nation. He leaves a legacy of significant improvement in the Russian economy. His legacy is also moving his nation backward in the move toward democracy.