Thursday, 20 March 2014

How to punish Putin

Alexey Navalny in the New York Times (in case anyone hasn't seen it already). Short version: the West should attack the Russian officials who really count (Putin's inner circle and the media oligarchs) as well as investigating Russian financial corruption in the EU and the US.

In the long term, Putin has undermined both the unity of the Russian Federation...
What is truly alarming in Mr. Putin’s rash behavior is that he is motivated by the desire for revenge against the Ukrainian people for revolting against a Kremlin-friendly government. A rational actor would know that the precedent of holding a local referendum to determine sovereignty is risky for Russia — a federation of more than 80 disparate regions, including more than 160 ethnic groups and at least 100 languages.
...and his unique selling point in the outside world:
There is a common delusion among the international community that although Mr. Putin is corrupt, his leadership is necessary because his regime subdues the dark, nationalist forces that otherwise would seize power in Russia. The West should admit that it, too, has underestimated Mr. Putin’s malign intent. It is time to end the dangerous delusion that enables him.

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