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Russia Fast Tracks Constitutional Changes

From the New York Times:

As a bill extending Russia’s presidency from four to six years barreled through the Russian legislature on Friday, it fell to the old-timers from the Communist Party to put up a fight. “Why do we have to do this today?” said Viktor I. Ilyukhin, a Communist legislator, during discussions today in the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament. “Why are we in such a hurry? A strict authoritarian regime has already been established in this country. There is already an unprecedented concentration of power in one person’s hands.”

He makes an interesting point: how much more authoritarianism can really be sustained? Or perhaps more importantly, what’s the point?