Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Once-mighty Putin is now looking vulnerable

Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarter's writes about Russian President Putin and his problems in the homeland.

Putin May Have More Problems On Horizon

One of the closely-watched aspects of George Bush's European diplomacy has been his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Prior to his latest trip to the continent, critics wondered if Bush would press Putin to return democracy to Russian politics, and were surprised when Bush publicly and pointedly did so. However, the London Telegraph reports tonight that Bush's advice may have come too late, as Putin faces new pressures at home that threaten to undermine his increasingly autocratic rule:

Once known as the Teflon president for his deft handling of public opinion, he is increasingly seen as a ham-fisted leader who is out of touch with the needs of ordinary Russians.

In the past two months hundreds of thousands have demonstrated throughout Russia to denounce the president's policies, the largest protests in the country for more than five years.

His popularity in the army and police - formerly mainstays of his support - are reputed to be falling. In a panicked attempt to plug his leaking support, the president ordered army salaries to be increased by 20 per cent and police pay by up to 50 per cent.

But such measures will hurt an economy that has already lost some shine and could further fuel demands by millions of other Russians for a greater slice of the pie.

Read the rest of Captain Ed's commentary here.

No comments:

Post a Comment