Feb 2, 2007
It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish satire from reality in the final days of the Putin era.
Case in point: On January 31, Putin issued a directive to the FSB instructing the agency to "combat nationalist and extremist ideologies" in the upcoming election cycle.
This is worrisome, given the government's habit of including human rights defenders and liberal democrats as the proponents of "extremist ideologies."
But wait, there's more. Putin then treated the FSB to a fascinating dissertation on the importance of democratic governance: "Elections are a very important democratic instrument for forming the state authorities, authorities, which are responsible and elected as a result of a sound political competition," he said.
Except in Ukraine.