Sunday, February 24, 2008
Putin Suffocates His Opponents
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — Shortly before parliamentary elections in December, foremen fanned out across the sprawling GAZ vehicle factory here, pulling aside assembly-line workers and giving them an order: vote for President Vladimir V. Putin’s party or else. They were instructed to phone in after they left their polling places. Names would be tallied, defiance punished. Over the past eight years, in the name of reviving Russia after the tumult of the 1990s, Mr. Putin has waged an unforgiving campaign to clamp down on democracy and extend control over the government and large swaths of the economy. He has suppressed the independent news media, nationalized important industries, smothered the political opposition and readily deployed the security services to carry out the Kremlin’s wishes.http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/world/europe/24putin.html?ex=1361595600&en=9d8d2985e5c8966e&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink
Alfred Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent"