Afortunadamente me enteré que el señor había dado la misma conferencia en la Universidad de Nayarit hace poco. Su periódico estudiantil cuenta más o menos lo que dijo (y lo que seguramente volvió a repetir en el ITAM):
Como resultado de las reformas –comentó- tenemos una Rusia democrática, con una constitución, presidente electo y parlamento; en lo económico representamos un cuadro muy distinto al anterior ya que no tenemos una economía centralizada, sino, que el sector privado produce el 80% del PIB, contamos además, con una iniciativa privada, indicadores económicos favorables y un sistema libre de mercado.
Mr. Putin's course, in brief: Loot as much public and private money as possible and get it into the companies and personal accounts of those loyal to the Kremlin. Clean the looted assets abroad with IPO's, auctions and eagerly complicit Western investors. Crack down on any sign of public or political opposition, no matter how small, using overwhelming force. Invalidate or ban parties and groups opposing the Kremlin. Harass, beat and even jail their activists. Shape the election laws to strip away democratic rights and civil liberties. Create menacing new laws that allow the executive and its courts to define anything they like as "extremism." Maintain tight
control of the media, especially television, and use it to promote the regime and its leaders while blaming "foreign-sponsored extremists" for all problems.
O la de uno de los rusólogos más destacados, David Remnik, que acaba de publicar un brillante artículo sobre Kasparov y las "reformas rusas":
In recent years, Putin has insured that nearly all power in Russia is Presidential. The legislature, the State Duma, is only marginally more independent than the Supreme Soviet was under Leonid Brezhnev. The governors of Russia’s more than eighty regions are no longer elected, as they were under Yeltsin; since a Presidential decree in 2004, they have all been appointed by the Kremlin. Putin even appoints the mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The federal television networks, by far the main instrument of news and information in Russia, are neo-Soviet in their absolute obeisance to Kremlin power.
Pero seguramente algo habrá hecho Putin para poder mantener su tasa de aprobación en un 80% durante todo su mandato. Si, Remnik explica:
Certainly, Putin has been lucky. Russia is second only to Saudi Arabia in petroleum production and leads the world in the production of natural gas. Without Russian gas, much of Europe freezes in its bed. Oil prices have nearly tripled since 2000. Real incomes and G.D.P. continue to grow. Unlike during the Yeltsin years, pensions and state salaries have, in general, been paid and have increased. A crushing multibillion-dollar foreign debt has been paid off. As recently as five years ago, knowing analysts would dismiss the shimmering signs of wealth in Moscow—the wildfire construction projects; the new hotels, luxury stores, and restaurants; the streets clogged with Mercedes-Benzes and Bentleys—and describe them as phenomena limited solely to a tiny, criminalized upper crust.
No less important than reversing the direction of the economy is that Putin has emboldened the national psychology. In the early years of the Yeltsin era, Russians devoured American pop culture, and the political class was eager to accept the counsel of the White House and Western economic advisers. In time, many Russians felt that Yeltsin was following America’s lead in everything from arms control to monetary olicy. Now that the U.S. has foundered on so many fronts—in Iraq, on questions of torture and domestic surveillance—the Kremlin reacts severely to what it perceives as American lectures on democracy. A judo expert, Putin is often able to exploit the moral and executive disasters of the Bush Administration and flip America over his hip.