Putin and Erdogan: Two Men Race to the Bottom

Russia’s and Turkey’s lack of a solid economic performance is what motivates their two leaders’ steady resorting to domestic oppression.

The ongoing plight of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his supporters has demonstrated yet again the brutality of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s iron-fisted rule.

Weeks of pro-Navalny rallies from Moscow to Vladivostok left some 11,000 protesters, many badly beaten, detained across the country. And sent Navalny to Penal Colony No. 2 — known for its abusive treatment of inmates.

Two autocrats and their batons

Meanwhile, across the Black Sea, Putin’s soulmate, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has engaged in a crackdown against students protesting his appointment of an unqualified crony with a history of plagiarism as the rector of Istanbul’s top public university.

Erdogan is desperately trying to divert the Turkish public’s attention away from the country’s crippling economic crisis and rampant unemployment.

Racing to the bottom of the Democracy Index

Nothing demonstrates Putin and Erdogan’s race down to the bottom better than the Democracy Index. Russia currently ranks in 124th place among the 167 countries tracked by The Economist Intelligence Unit in its annual survey. It lists Russia as an “authoritarian regime.”

Turkey ranks 104th, catagorized by the index as a “hybrid regime” — a type defined by substantial election irregularities and government pressure on the opposition. That is by far the lowest ranking of any NATO country, with Montenegro (in 81th place) the next worst.

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Πηγή: theglobalist.com

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