On the heels of embarassing misunderstandings
of the American system, Vladimir Putin (the current, and increasingly
dictatorial, Russian president) has announced the formation of -- I kid
you not -- the Putin Youth.
If you're having flashbacks to a certain moustachioed murderer of
millions, well, you're not the only one. It's sad to see Russia
moving backwards rather than forwards on the freedom scale, but a move
like this may signal Putin's weakness. Then again, it may not. Even more disturbing:
When two outsiders - one from an opposition party, the
other a journalist - sneaked into its founding conference, they were
humiliated and one was beaten. The latest move by
the Kremlin to shore up its rule comes after claims that it has been
using infiltrators to stir trouble at anti-government rallies, giving
the police an excuse to disperse them.