Born in USSR

Russian President Vladimir Putin has managed to accomplish the impossible during his presidential career.

He managed to make people talk about re-construction of the former USSR. More so, he made people believe in it.

While powerful authorities come to power, establish political and economic contacts with former soviet republics, form a precise vertical pyramid of power and constantly check up the quality of work of law authorities, all of this tends to create an illusion of resurrection of the old system in the minds of people who still vividly remember those Soviet times of social equality. Putin does not openly talk about re-constructing former soviet regime. However, it is possible to trace president's rather tolerant attitude towards the country's past. Nowadays, Putin emphasizes such principles as patriotism and national self-conscious more often in his speeches. He also welcomes thoughts of Russia’s further development within the USSR borders. He carefully tries to avoid mentioning this directly in his speeches. There are people, however, who are willing to do it for him.

One of the persons to express such views was Sergey Shoigu. In the course of a forum concerning the unification of Perm’s and Komi-Perm's regions, the delegate of the "Edinaya Rossia" has stated that "such unification of these two regions does not contradict our party's ideology. I hope this is just the first step. Hopefully, we will all be able to witness the day when we will be citizens of one huge country within the borders of the former USSR."

We can only guess whether such statement has been stated in accord with his personal opinion regarding the subject matter. Peoples’ astounded expressions however were obvious. We were unable to clarify Shoigu's exact position on such topic.

The extent of the electorate votes of Putin supporters who try to attract more attention remains unknown. Most likely, such actions will cause antipathy towards the entire party of "Edinaya Rossiya." 

A new campaign against Putin has been successfully launched by former dissidents. While being supported by various "democratic" parties of Russia such as "Yabloko," they have already remarked Putin's attempt to lead the country into the past, while repeating the same mistakes that might cause devastating consequences. One of the most famous Russian dissidents Vladimir Bukovsky who has a tremendous experience of resisting the Soviet regime, is rather skeptical about today's attempts to rebuild Russia within the former USSR boundaries. According to Bukovsky, there is a new generation of young people today who are completely unaware of peoples’ lives back then. This however, as paradoxically as it may seem, serves as a main argument for the re-construction of the former regime. Today's young generation perceives "USSR" as a beautiful legend, a mere myth of social equality and total happiness. While possessing such preconceived notions about the former regime, they are most likely to support the re-construction process and view it as a positive thing.

Burkovsky gives a rather critical forecast for Russia's future. According to him, the country will continue to fall apart. Such process however "will occur on economic level, not on national." Bukovsky does not exclude a possibility of powerful authorities coming to power one day. They can easily turn the country into a concentration camp.

In the mean time, Putin's ratings are rising. Sure enough, he managed to achieve something that Yeltsin failed—Putin acquires more and more votes from the strongest left opposition. This is no coincidence. In times when the communist party "KPRF" tends to compromise itself more often day after day, the communist electorate slightly shifts to the right. Putin's victory is not certain yet. However, the president’s desire to have constructive talks with constructive opposition appears obvious. We will see what future brings.

Igor Kulagin

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Author`s name Olga Savka