NEWSWATCH: “The Fate of Russia’s Liberals” – Stratfor
Russia’s economic and political problems are piling up, and they may be putting members of the country’s more liberal circles at risk. In the most high-profile arrest to be made in post-Soviet Russia – and arguably, since the 1950s – Economic Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was detained … on charges of bribery and extortion. … Russian authorities [said] Ulyukayev received $2 million from … Rosneft in exchange for approving the company’s purchase of the Bashneft oil firm. … the arrest … raised … disturbing questions about … Putin’s involvement in the incident and the fate of the country’s remaining liberal elites. * * * …. viewed as one of Russia’s most liberal economic minds, Ulyukayev has pushed for deep structural reforms …. Sechin could have coordinated the arrest with Putin, a troubling sign of a crackdown on Russia’s liberal circles to come. As the country’s economic and demographic problems worsen, Moscow is becoming more hawkish and autocratic in its policies at home and abroad. Ulyukayev may just be the first victim of a sweeping effort ….
[featured image is file photo from different occasion]