Ivan Sukhov writes: Modern Russia is not positioning itself as a welfare state: The government now sees it as a burden to feed millions of people directly dependent on the state. Modern Russia is ostensibly trying to invest in development, but its space program is crumbling with every failed rocket launch, and lawmakers are scaring away potential investors with ill-conceived laws.
Modern Russia is definitely not the free and prosperous country that dissidents dreamed it would become when the Soviet regime collapsed in 1991 — but, beyond a doubt, it is also not the Soviet Union. The contours of the social and political system now unfolding before our eyes are far harsher, the political taboos preventing society from degenerating into primitive obscurantism far fewer and the barriers separating the country from the rest of the world far higher.
Meanwhile, the honor guard embodying Great Russia continues marching at the Kremlin walls and the country’s nuclear missiles — capable of destroying half the planet — stand ready. [Continue reading…]