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An Eagerness to Share Russia’s Blame

Edward Lucas has a striking criticism of a new book on Russia’s economic revival by Daniel Treisman published in the Wall Street Journal.  I haven’t yet read Treisman’s book, but judging from his recent co-authored essay in Foreign Affairs, there’s little doubt that his approach will draw out many critics.  Included in Lucas’s critique is a familiar refrain on the eagerness to manufacture excuses for the Putin clique:

Mr. Treisman is prey to the neurotic but common misconception of seeing the West’s failures as excuses for Russian misrule. Western policies in Iraq, Kosovo or Ukraine may well have been botched or hypocritical, as he suggests. But such mistakes are subject to independent scrutiny and the verdict of voters in real elections, unlike the Russia of Messrs. Putin and Medvedev.