Putin’s Third Term Doctrine

Anna Nemtsov has a pretty good broad summary of the agenda currently being advanced under Vladimir Putin in these early days of his third term.  From Newsweek / Daily Beast:

The goal: to restore the glory of Russia the only way Putin seems to know how—the raw acquisition of power. “He is trying to keep stability, as he sees it, with billions of dollars in oil,” said Evgeny Gontmakher, an analyst at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, a Moscow-based think tank. “I predict chaos.”

The announcement—which featured what appeared to be a staged tête-à-tête with one of the president’s advisers—seemed to crystallize what analysts are now calling “The Putin Doctrine.” Its essence is to consolidate political control at home and expand his country’s influence in Central Asia at the expense of the West. Earlier this year, as protesters crowded Moscow’s cold streets, demonstrating against the government in a way that hasn’t been seen in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, Putin said his third term would give rise to a stronger military, improved social programs, and the creation of a Eurasian Union, a confederacy of states that resembles a watered-down version of the old USSR. (…)

Every week, street protesters who chant slogans like “Putin is a thief!” in Moscow and other major cities are questioned by police or thrown in jail. The regime is unapologetic about the crackdown. “Everyone is sick and tired of this issue of human rights,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, recently told The New York Times. “It’s not on the agenda.”