Monday, February 04, 2008

Andrey Illarionov

Many people don't realize the extent to which Vladimir Putin's government is a dictatorship. When we think of dictatorships, we tend to think of states in Africa or Asia, or perhaps the old Soviet states. However, Russia is very much so a totalitarian state right now. This is evidenced by the large amount of recent exiles. Putin tolerates very little opposition, and has essentially taken over the press. There is very little freedom of speech.

An interesting individual you may want to look into is Andrey Illarionov (see his Wikipedia page).

He was formerly an economic policy adviser to Vladimir Putin in Russia. In 2005, he resigned from his post and said that "This year Russia has become a different country. It is no longer a democratic country. It is no longer a free country".

He continued to say that "It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free. It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic".

In October of 2006, Illarionov was appointed senior researcher for the Cato Institute while remaining in Russia. He has been an outspoken critic of the Russian government and on April 14, 2007, and June 9, 2007, he took a part in Dissenters' Marches.

The Cato Institute calls him "one of Russia's most forceful and articulate advocates of an open society and democratic capitalism". You can find his Cato Institute Profile here.

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