Yesterday’s graph showed that based on previous elections since Putin became president, the referendum is a mockery of democratic elections. This is not surprising since Putin holds democratic values and human rights in contempt. Letting people freely organise themselves in organisations where they can make their voices heard and express criticism against oppression, is threatening. This is why he’s labelled most such organisations “foreign agents”.
Other foreign agents are Olga and Ivan who read news on bbc.com and distribute that further on their blogs. Such behaviour is of course intolerable since BBC happens to be a trustworthy and impartial news entity. Putin wants to control the information space.
And letting people speak their minds is out of the question. Unless they agree with Putin of course. If they come together in demonstrations, Putin unleash his his dogs at the demonstrators.
As I’ve mentioned often before, political scientists in the project Varities of Democracy, assesses countries with respect to different aspects of democracy. Today’s graph uses an indicator that gauges the extent of freedom of association and expression. The conditions for these have deteriorated markedly since Putin came to power.
Political liberties in Russia since Putin was installed as president.
Source: V-Dem https://www.v-dem.net/en/ Note: Political Liberties Index. The indicator ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 reflects a situation where there is no freedom of association and expression, i.e. total oppression. Political liberties are understood as freedom of association and freedom of expression. The index is based on indicators that reflect government repression.
And having people demonstrate is out of the question, especially not if they are perceived as enormous threats to Putin…