By Anne Applebaum
The Washington Post
July 24, 2007
Moscow, Russia — My friends, their children and their acquaintances [here] all seemed to have recently suffered freak accidents, tangles with Kafkaesque bureaucracy or major swindles. One had watched as trees were surreptitiously axed in a nearby park. As for me, my wallet was stolen from my hotel room in the middle of the night, clearly an inside job.
Putinism isn’t just a foreign policy problem. The Russian president’s penchant for breaking weapons treaties, threatening small neighbors, disposing of his enemies and spouting Cold War rhetoric creates dilemmas for the West. Yet the lawlessness that pervades his country creates much worse dilemmas for ordinary Russians.