Russia, the Prigozhin case and Putin’s power based on fear

Angelo Panebianco in Corriere della Sera highlights the substantial difference with democracy (and also with China)

The one of Putin in Russia it is, even technically, a dictatorship. It has been like this since before the war broke out in Ukraine but the war in Ukraine and the management of power in the last year and a half, up to the Prigozhin case, highlights a substantial difference with democracies, and also with other less brazen dictatorships: the Putin’s regime is based on fear of his power.

In an analysis in the Corriere della Sera, Angelo Panebianco highlights how the death of the head of Wagner is further confirmation. “By killing him in Russia, on a flight from Moscow, the Kremlin made sure that the name of the instigator was crystal clear to everyone. As in all other cases, a long series of excellent murders, the Kremlin has denied its involvement. But it is as if, in denial, he winked, each time, to suggest ‘Don’t believe my denial. It was really me'”.

Obviously, no democracy could accept such an attitude. “It is foolish not to grasp the radical difference between the two situations. The difference between a power that kills with impunity and lets everyone know it (betting on the fact that this strengthens it) and a power that cannot afford it”, writes Panebianco.

Panebianco also introduces a significant term of comparison, China. “It would be more understandable if our anti-Westerners sympathized with China alone, discarding Putin’s Russia. China too is a dictatorship, ruthless with dissidents, but, at least, it cannot be reduced to a business-mafia club”, highlights, and then concludes: “There is in any case a shred of rationality in those who sympathize, rather than with Putin, with the Chinese ‘comrades’. It is not a choice to approve. But, at least, it can be understood or explained”.