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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Putin setting stage for continued rule

Viewpoint by Julissa Treviño/south news editor

His good looks and clever speech make him seem like a nice, charming guy. But underneath that charisma is something we should all fear.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has become the object of both praise and criticism.

Since his first term in 2000, the Russian economy has seen steady increases in gross domestic production, industrial and agricultural production and the value of consumer credit. There has also been a decrease in the number of people living under the poverty line and large-scale reforms in retirement, banking and tax.

However, Putin has become so powerful, he is turning the attempt to make democratic progress in Russia to the extreme of Soviet-like policies.

In 2000, he introduced a law that gave him the right to freely dismiss leaders of federal subjects, regions of Russia much like states to the United States; and in 2004, he launched an initiative to replace the direct election of governors and presidents of federal subjects with a system that would enable him to appoint someone to the position, then be approved or disapproved by regional legislatures.

The Russian government calls the Putin administration “sovereign democracy”; the outside world calls itdictatorship.

His restrictions on media are tyrannical. In January, the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations said under Putin, a system of terrorism had started against journalists with more than 300 criminal cases opened against them in the past six years. The government has been accused of murdering journalists for uncovering such issues as corruption in the Russian army. Putin has also made strong moves toward censorship on TV.

Even with the resemblance of Soviet days, the former KGB officer has managed to hold the highest approval rating of any leader in world: 81 percent in June 2007.

The Putin administration has created a youth organization that hints at Hitler Youth, with procreation of the Motherland.

With the next presidential election in Russia March 2, Putin has endorsed candidate Dmitry Medvedev, who will be more a puppet to Putin than a president.

Medvedev has asked Putin to be his prime minister. Though he has not formally accepted, undoubtedly Putin will hold on to as much power as possible and control much of what happens until he can officially run for office again in 2012.

If he becomes Prime Minister, Putin will, unfortunately, gain control of Russia and continue his Soviet/fascist ways.

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