Are things in Russia better or worse than a year ago? The Economist has a new editorial on the one year anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya:
But she would have noticed some flickers of good news too. Kremlin pressure against Estonia, Georgia and Ukraine in the past 12 months has proved fruitless. Her biggest western bugbears—Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder and Silvio Berlusconi—are history. Their successors are taking a much tougher line against Russia. It is no longer quite possible to argue, as she did in a despairing finale to “Putin’s Russia”: “[The West] barely reacts…it finds much about today’s Russia entirely to its taste: the vodka, the caviar, the gas, the oil, the dancing bears, the practitioners of a particular profession…Europe and the rest of the globe are perfectly satisfied with the way things are going.” That at least is no longer the case. But it would not help assuage Politkovskaya’s greatest concern: that the Russian people seem so indifferent to their rulers’ shortcomings, and so willing to vote for those who despise democracy.