Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Putin's Crimes

A slew of critics of Putin's regime have been murdered or have died under suspicious circumstances. Is it possible that Mr. Putin, that ex-KGB agent, is really turning Russia back into a police state? Is it probable? These thoughts came to mind when I heard an interview today with the authors of Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB (Free Press, May 22, 2007). (The authors are Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko.)

That Putin favors the restoration of a monument to Dzerzhinsky in Moscow is not exactly reassuring. (This is the same Dzerzhinsky who led the secret service that interrogated and killed the real-life protagonist portrayed in Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon.)

N.B. At one point Putin favored the erection of a new statue of Josef Stalin. A proposal for such a statute in Moscow led Eugene Volokh to ask if we might soon expect to see statues of Adolf Hitler in Berlin.

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