Friday, May 26, 2017

Putin’s Remark about ‘Fools’ in His Regime Raises Some Serious Questions, Shenderovich Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 26 – Vladimir Putin’s suggestion earlier this week that he didn’t know in advance about the siloviki attack on the Gogol Center and that those who carried it out were “fools” to have done so in such a clumsy way was a transparent effort to avoid any responsibility for what his government has been doing. 

            It is perhaps possible but highly unlikely Putin didn’t know in advance given that his culture minister has acknowledged that he did  ( and given that Putin’s regime has launched a broad attack on Russian intellectuals ( and

            But Putin’s words will be fastened on at home as evidence that the old Russian pattern of “a good tsar and bad boyars” continues and abroad as an indication that Putin whatever some may think of him is not the clumsy thug that some describe him as being but is concerned about the rule of law and basic due process.

            In a blog post today, journalist Viktor Shenderovich says that whatever may be the case about Putin’s knowledge – the latest Russian version of “what did the president know and when did he know it” – there are four significant questions that the Kremlin leader should be confronted with and soon (

            He poses these questions as follows:

·         “Why do you appoint to leading positions fools who again and again commit illegal actions and inflict enormous harm on the reputation of Russia?”

·         “Why do these fools in senior positions remain at their posts even after they have committed such actions? Why don’t you remove them?”

·         “Do you consider that such dangerous fools should in the future continue to head the force structures of the Russian Federation?  What is the motivation for this cadres policy?”

·         “Are you certain that your own intentions are within the framework of law and your obligations as the guarantor of the rights of citizens of the Russian Federation?”

But perhaps the best comment so far was offered by Russian caricaturist Sergey Yelkin who shows Putin awarding his faceless and nameless subordinates with a medal labelled “fool” for their efforts on his behalf (

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