Writing in the Globe & Mail Aurel Braun, a professor of political science and international relations at the University of Toronto and author of NATO-Russia Relations in the Twenty-First Century, calls upon the West to stop being fooled by Potemkin Russia’s incompetent leadership:
The authoritarian leadership structure, what the Russians call the “power vertical,” is not transparent or adaptive. Mr. Medvedev’s constitutional supremacy belies the reality that crucial decisions are, in fact, made by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his tightly controlled group of security men, the siloviki. Even the occasional impression of a diarchy is mistaken, for Mr. Medvedev lacks a true powerbase. His liberal-sounding statements and expressed desire for genuine democracy, rather than Mr. Putin’s hyphenated euphemisms for authoritarianism – “sovereign democracy” or “directed democracy” – may raise Western hopes but, so far, mean little in practice.
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Source: Globe and Mail