Wednesday, July 05, 2006

As Russia's lovely, cuddly Vladimir Putin throws his weight around on the international stage, the BBC has been offering the chance to pose questions for the corrupt, dictatorial ex-KGB nutter via its Have Your Say Forums.

It must be said, judging by the "readers recommended" comments the Russians have learned a fair amount about astroturfing - whole teams of agents desperately signing up with BBC accounts to ensure only the most banal questions reach the top. Only one question about Chechnya and nothing whatsoever about his merciless destruction of political opponents - but plenty of moaning about visa requirements to visit Moscow to see the ballet... All the rest (mostly soft balls about corruption and racism) seem designed for a Blair-like "Ah, I'm glad you asked that" policy announcement.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jawbox said...

Ach, lay off him. Putin's no angel but he does have one hell of a task rebuilding Russia after the 1990s. As I understand it, he's doing quite a good job in terms of wages, conditions and the standard of living. Hence his popularity.

Don't see quite where your "corrupt" allegation comes from, really. As for dictatorial, nah - authoritarian, yes, but perhaps necessarily so. When Putin resolves a hypothetical constitutional crisis by sending tanks against his Parliament, then I'll panic.

7/05/2006 12:35:00 pm  
Blogger Friendly Fire said...

Second Jawbox's comments.

Putin managed to head off the IMF takeover of Russia's oil interests when he arrested a certain person in a city I happened to be staying in about 200kms north of Moscow in October 2003. My Russian friend was estactic from the news.

IMF - World Bank - EU (not yet anyway)- an evil trinity.

7/05/2006 11:31:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

So despite his systematic persecution of potential political opponents, near total control of the country's media, attacks on Boris Berezovsky after his criticism of some of Putin's policies and Mikhail Khodorkovsky following his funding of opposition groups, not to mention his decidedly suspect Chechnyan policies, decision to continue supplying nuclear materials to Iran, and support for the dictatorships of Belarus and Central Asia, Putin's a nice guy really?

Sorry, not convinced.

7/06/2006 02:25:00 pm  

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