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The 'new' Russia: Stalin lives

| Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

The "new" Russia keeps looking like the old Russia. In this case, Stalinist Russia.

The Times of London reports that the Kremlin "has hardened its stance against dissent ... by expanding the definition of treason to include critics of the state." And the punishment for questioning the growing Russian thugocracy could include, you guessed it, execution.

The bill submitted to the Duma, the Russian congress but traditionally a Kremlin rubber stamp, would make prosecutable deeds "aimed against security of the Russian Federation, including her constitutional order, sovereignty, territorial and state integrity."

In Russia, that could be something as benign as saying the government's out of touch in the current economic crisis or "rendering financial support to a foreign organization." Better think again about donating to the Salvation Army, eh?

Duma member Andrei Lugovoy says he'd order the assassination of anyone considered a traitor if he were Russia's president. Of course, Mr. Lugovoy might know something of the concept. He's accused in Britain of murdering dissident former spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Wow, sounds like a case for the United Nations Human Right Council. Oops, we forgot -- Russia is a member of that august body.

Surely Stalin, roasting weenies in hell, is ecstatic.

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