Putin's counter-revolution


Putin continues to use means, fair and foul, to frustrate democrats. No wonder he seems to support Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia — all nations attempting to do to Iraq what he tried to do to tthe Ukraine and is now trying to do to other formerly Soviet lands.
PRESIDENT BUSH and other Western leaders are still celebrating the democratic revolution in Ukraine, but in other former republics of the Soviet Union an entirely different response is underway. Post—Soviet leaders who, like Ukraine's former regime, have lived by corruption, rigged elections and thuggish repression are frantically seeking to head off a repeat of the popular "orange revolution," or the earlier "rose revolution" in Georgia. In recent weeks they have banned opposition parties, thrown their most plausible democratic challengers in jail and cracked down on Western pro—democracy organizations. They have also sought help from a familiar address: the Kremlin of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ed Lasky   2 4 05