A one-party state, an aging leader in the Kremlin, and a new KGB? Hmmm. It seems we’ve seen this movie before.
Russians woke up on September 19 to news that the ruling United Russia party controlled more than three-quarters of the seats in the new State Duma, in an election marred by record-low turnout and widespread allegations of fraud.
And on the same day, a widely circulated report in the daily Kommersant revealed that there are plans afoot in the Kremlin to create a new Ministry of State Security that would effectively re-create the feared Soviet-era secret police.
And oh, by the way, in just a couple weeks Vladimir Putin will turn 64, the same age that Leonid Brezhnev was in 1970 as the Soviet Union was about to enter a decade of economic stagnation, intensified political repression, and escalated foreign aggression.