On this edition of Parallax Views, Ilya Budtraitskis, a Russian leftist historian, activist, and author of Dissident Among Dissidents: Ideology, Politics, and the Left in Post-Soviet Russia, returns to discuss Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on the antiwar movement in Russia. Budraitskis provides insights into the recent arrests and harassment of activists and intellectuals who oppose Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.
The discussion delves into the complexities of Russian politics and society, and how Putin’s government has affected dissenting voices. Budraitskis also shares his thoughts on the role of the West in Russia’s political landscape.
Throughout the conversation, J.G. and Budraitskis examine the broader implications of Putin’s crackdown, including the impact on civil liberties, free speech, and democracy in Russia.
Moreover, Budtraiskis gives his thoughts on Russian polls, including a recent one from the Levada Center (a Russian independent NGO is not affiliated with and even considered a hostile entity by the Russian state and Kremlin) indicating that most Russian support Putin’s war efforts. Budtraitskis offers reasons why these polls may be inaccurate, chiefly because many Russian views any polls as a state of loyalty to Putin and the Russian state. He makes the case that culture of paranoia is currently pervading Russia.
Also covered in the course of the conversation:
– Budtraitskis’ assessment of the Russia/Ukraine war in light of its first year anniversary.
– Budtraitskis analyzes Putin and Russian media’s rhetoric about the war and Putin’s motivations. He argues that Russia is fighting without a clear objective and are less interested in winning the war than “not losing the war” (Budtraitskis explains what he means by this in more detail).
– Assessing Western liberal and left-wing views about the war
– The Russian states crackdowns on antifascist activists and the LGBTQ+
– And more!
Mentioned in this episode: