As the US Presidential campaigns gain momentum, there is a daily barrage of banter, dirty laundry and controversy in all camps, and the public simply lap it all up as part of the show or spectacle. In Russia, on the other hand, Vladimir Putin yesterday held a very public meeting with his Federal Security Service (FSB) top brass and instructed them "prepare to defend Russia’s interests."
"We need to head off any external attempts to interfere in the elections, in our domestic political life," said Putin. "You know that certain kinds of (political) technologies exist and have already been used in many countries."
Referring to what he called a direct threat to Russia's sovereignty, he said the FSB had supplied him with specific intelligence that "foreign enemies" were preparing for the elections.
Revisiting the 1990's?
Making a statement of this nature demonstrates Russia is heavily under the influence of the state; a far cry from the West's view of democracy. It seems the people have little choice but to accept the outcome of the general elections to be held in September as already predetermined.
But how does this impact the Russian population? They are already suffering from a weakened ruble, western sanctions, a falling oil price and a ban on travelling to certain destinations. Many have not seen their salaries increase, but are having to live with higher costs and expenses, and are having to change their lifestyles to adjust. This is uncomfortable for many but is reminiscent of the 90's. The collapse of the number 2 airline last year sees Aeroflot being able to control the market, increasing fares to levels that travel anywhere outside is out of reach for the population. Convenient or replay?
The state of affairs between Russia and Turkey is also affecting many, but what is the end game all about? We can take a look back at history and see the rivalry has always been there, but what of the victims?
Russia has deployed a vast force to the #Middle East to "assist" with the efforts in Syria and have been allowed to lead the show there – causing whatever damage and travesty they see fit, as they justify genuine targets, the same as the US and UK forces. The human cost is mounting, with hundreds of thousands fleeing their homes for Europe.
Where has the humanity gone?
We see and hear from aid agencies, politicians, generals and other world leaders about Syria, yet there is still no end in sight. The humanitarian crisis is escalating every day, and now on the borders between Syria and Turkey are masses of refugees fleeing for their lives. On entering Turkey they then make way for Europe. And what then? The traffickers take over and line their pockets with thousands of dollars with promises of safe passage when in fact there is literally no safe way out.
European countries, particularly Greece, have no capacity to take more, the country is literally bursting at the seams, as well as going through a major recession. For those that make it into Greece, the journey then begins, but as the Balkan countries and some EU nations begin to apply strict border controls, what on earth happens to the victims of this travesty, and who is responsible?
History repeating itself
Far too often politicians have taken countries to the brink of war and beyond, the only victims in this are the population, who have to live with the decisions made by those they elect to take care of them. Taking care does not mean causing harm or suffering to others, or counting the bank balance of friends and family – it means putting the needs of the people first. Dropping bombs, arming troops and puffing chests only serves the ego. It is time for all world leaders to look at their moral obligation to serve the electorate instead of themselves – after all, this is their job. #World Politics #Government