Apr 28, 2008

Two Very Different Russias

Two very different images of sovereign democracy appeared on the pages of the Washington Post and the Financial Times this morning.

In the WashPost it is all rather grim: “Putin did not announce, eight years ago, his intention to create an autocracy in which all television channels would be under Kremlin control; in which elections would be decided, by him, ahead of time; in which every major industrialist and provincial governor would dance to his tune and roving bands of nationalist youths would threaten, intimidate or beat up anyone who objected.”

However, the FT sees things a bit differently. Alright, very differently: “Medvedev will want bring into his administration young professionals and ‘people from internet society...The extent to which [Medvedev] will be allowed to do this is not clear but he wants reformers, pro-west people and not xenophobic patriots.”

The quote comes from Igor Yurgens at Renaissance Capital. How could he arrive at such a radically different view? Well, for starters, Medvedev is the chairman of Yurgens’ business lobby group. But, that probably has little impact on Yurgens’ opinion.

In fact, Yurgens may be on to something. Just think of all that Medvedev could accomplish if he filled his administration exclusivly with “people from Internet society,” like that Chocolate Rain fellow, laughing baby, the Star Wars kid, and -- heaven help us -- “Leave Britney alone.”

Come to think of it, Yurgens is probably thinking of a different Internet.


Jaybird said...

You forgot Gary Brolsma as Russian Ambassador to Moldova...

Pirates&Diplomats said...

Damn you Jaybird! Now I've got the song in my head.