It is good to be Tzar!
29 September, 2011
It is good to be Tzar!

Newspapers and newsblogs  last week proclaimed Mr. Putin’s official announce _ ment to run for the seat of the president, as news

. New York Times, a newspaper that is beginning to read like a love letter to all things Russia, stated ‘The announcement brings an end to years of uncertainty, inside and outside Russia, about whether Mr. Putin intended to loosen his grip on power.’ The idea that anyone in Russia, except for maybe Mr. Prokhorov, had a real notion of things

changing from the status quo, is a bit naive. There was no uncertainty. This switcheroo had been agreed to many years ago. What we had witnessed in the news was a game of musical chairs, if you will, except there were only two chairs and only Medvedev and Putin got to play. Imagine that after a prolonged taking of bows Mr. Medvedev and Putin exchanged pleasantries as they entered Duma, ‘After you sir’ said Putin, ‘No sir, after you’ responded Medvedev as he stepped aside for his friend. For anyone who submits that this was simply an announcement to run for presidency and not a coronation, think again and think back to Russian History. It was Lermontov who wrote, when the tsarist powers had him sent out into an exhile:
‘Forever you, the unwashed Russia!
The land of slaves, the land of lords:
And you, the blue-uniformed ushers,
And people who worship them as gods.’
Almost two hundred years later and those who are not with the program are still being sent out away if lucky, and murdered if not so lucky. And the rest, like slaves, look upon the going-ons with resignation and obedience to their masters. There hasn’t been a free election in the country since…since never. Sure people thought they were voting for the first time for Yeltsin in 1991, but lets be serious, he had bought his cushioned seat. The free elections are not going to start now. Sure there will be a mock booth set up in every voting district, but everyone knows the results, so why would anyone bother, if not for a show. A show that should satisfy the West, a show that should tell European and western delegates “Look, we voted. It’s not our fault that the only person running for President happened to be our old president.”
Unlikely that there will be any campaigning, or actual running, or a real election, instead there will be passing of the torch between two men who run the country by passing the seat of a president between each other.  It’s good to be tzar and tzar in training.
So what did this completely predictable announcement really mean?
For those few and in between who were still under an illusion that Russia citizens have any choice in who runs their country, this announcement should put an end to such delusions.
For Europe dealing with ‘new’ Russia, means haggling over gas and looking the other way when they really shouldn’t. For Georgia it means aggression, disinformation, possible physical attacks and just the general undermining of Georgia as a country. In other words, business as usual.
For Russia itself, this announcement only foreshadows decades to come. After term number three and four that will end in 2024, what is to stop the same switcheroo from happening again? Mr.Medvedev could run for another term in 2024, and Mr.Putin could run again after that. This dance can continue on forever, or at least until one of them, or both decided to retire, which is unlikely, as even now Mr. Putin is being elevated to divine status. Tzars in Russia don’t retire, they are sent to Russia by God and are sent for life. They can’t be returned. Other things, like a revolution and death can happen to them, but they can’t be returned. Russians signed their fate away a long time ago (1991 to be precise) and the rest of the world is paying the price.

 

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