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   Putin fears hue and cry of Orange Revolution

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12/19/2005 12:00 pm

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Opinion

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Entered 12/19/2005, Updated 12/19/2005

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Concerned by the spread of democracy and the contagion of color revolutions, Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, is moving to restrict Russian civil society. The march of freedom has advanced in Georgia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Kyrgyzstan. But the spread of democracy is not inevitable. There have been setbacks in Kazakstan, Azerbaijan and elsewhere. President Putin fears the challenge from pluralism and democracy at home. Therefore, since the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, Putin has rolled back freedoms in Russia. Putin's government has launched a broad campaign to ensure that Russia's corrupt autocracy survives. Independent national television stations have been taken over. Pro-western parties have been driven out of parliament. Business magnates who challenged Putin are prosecuted. And the popular election of governors has been eliminated. Now, in a step to further consolidate Putin's power at home, an assault has been launched on Russia's fragile civil society.


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