Putinism is Ill-Equiped to Handle Crisis

The following is an extract from the Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov White Paper, as translated over on La Russophobe:

The closed, authoritarian and corrupt mode of government created by Putin has turned out to be impotent when it comes to dealing with the crisis. Not a single one of its aims has been achieved and vast sums have been spent in reaching this failure. A corrupt system has proven to be powerless in battling the crisis. It is evident that the part played by government should be greater in times of crisis. However, when that government is weak and corrupt, when laws don’t work, when decisions are taken behind closed doors, then any results are bound to be pitiful if not downright negative. Our recipe for combating the crisis is therefore that we should:

• abolish censorship, including on matters to do with the crisis;

• restore political competition with a view to having public discussion of the strategies for moving out of the crisis;

• restore elections for governors and parliaments in order for government to be responsible to the people;

• ensure the separation of the law courts from the executive in order to combat corruption and obtain rule of law;

• make an about-turn in our foreign policy with a view to restoring the trust of foreign investors.

Dismantling Putinism and restoring democracy will be the mostimportant steps in fighting the crisis. We believe that the Putinrégime will be quite unable to deal with the economic and financialcrisis. Consequently, it has to be removed. We need to begin with theresignation of Vladimir Putin’s government which has already in thiscrisis demonstrated its complete impotence and scandalous incompetence.The resignation of Putin’s government is the best anti-crisis measurethat there is as no other steps are possible until that has happened.Without it, it will not be possible to put a stop to massive andwidespread corruption in the distribution of state aid to combat thecrisis, to get capital to return to the country, and to use the state’swealth – your money and mine – to best effect. It follows thereforethat dismantling Putinism and restoring democracy in the country isintegral to the performance of any anti-crisis measures and that ifthis is not done, nothing will be achieved.

In other words, Russia desperately needs full-scale political reform today.