Putin the autocrat comes of age

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But it also resulted in him suffering “delusional beliefs” about the state of affairs in his country, as underlings feared sharing any information that could be seen as negative, Umarov said. 

He added that although there are clear parallels between the autocracies in Central Asian countries and Russia today, there is also an important difference.

Speaking several days before the Crocus terror attack, he said that “these countries didn’t declare such sky-high results after an attempted coup, a hugely popular opposition leader dying in prison, people coming out in protest, or a war that put the country under strain.”

“Rather than a reflection of real consolidation, it feels as if Putin is trying to overcompensate for the destabilized situation in his country,” Umarov said.

Not ISIS

Two days after the attack, a more confident Putin appeared on television once again. This time he spoke of “radical Islamists” who had acted on the instruction of the “neo-Nazi Kyiv regime.” 

By then, his propagandists had already found culprits in Ukraine, Britain and the United States, who had apparently used the radical islamists to cover their tracks.



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