The swings and roundabouts of history are truly amazing.
Yesterday, KGB-spy-turned-dictator Vladimir Putin sent three young women to jail for two years for staging a protest against him in a church, an act the judge called “blasphemous”.
In is hard to comprehend that Putin’s power base is built on the remnants of the Soviet Communist Party, one of the most active, determined, and cold-blooded oppressors of religions in modern times. An organisation whose “blasphemies” have few equals anywhere in the world. But then, clinging to power is always, and has always been, the first concern of a dictator and his courtiers.
The women were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and were described as having offended Russian Orthodox believers.
All of this seems to be true but the response of the Russian authorities seems disproportionate.
International observers see this as further evidence of a crackdown on anyone who would oppose the Putin autocracy.
Western sensibilities might imagine that good will eventually prevail and that Russia might eventually be governed by a benign, caring, and just administration but, once again, history shows how very unlikely that prospect remains.
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