Talk for Article "Analysis: Russian dissidents focus on corruption ahead of presidential elections"

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    By using a term dissident author applies the stereotype of Soviet times. Navalny is considered by some as an oppositional leader outside the Kremlyn control, by others as an actor in the puppet theatre of the presidential administration. In neither case he is a ‘dissident’.
    The term ‘corruption’ is also misleading, as the post 1992 history of Russia is about unprecedented plundering of country wealth. It is not ‘corruption’ but the longest and most prolific in history theft of state assets by and with cooperation of state actors. How successful it will turn to be depends not on Navalny and other ‘dissidents’ but on whether the US government has a will to disclose in a few months the beneficiaries of money laundering operations through US and UK bank systems and to freeze their assets.
    The third misleading term is ‘election’. In the current Russian context a democratic procedure called ‘election’ is impossible for the same reason as this word was an oxymoron for USSR – it was and is a totalitarian regime, not just ‘authoritarian’ as Western media and academia call its present incarnation. Ask those sent to labour camps for re-tweeting jokes and photos deemed to be ‘extremist’ by marionette ‘judges’- this is the state exercising a selective terror campaign against law-abiding citizens. It is now well rehearsed and can be scaled up at any moment.
    Thus the author’s premise that somehow the focus on ‘corruption’ by Russian non-systemic opposition actors is a part of an electoral campaign is deeply flawed. It normalises the situation in Russia which in my view cannot be normalised. The writing style of ‘unbiased’ witness used by the author (very similar to the BBC one) implicitly legitimises the regime and its ‘election’.
    In my view, the article cannot be improved by editing and must be rewritten.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Evgueni,

      I think you raise an important point about word choice. I will try my best to add more context around the term “election”, which as you point out, implies a democratic process.

      I’m not sure how to avoid the term “corruption” though. Sources on this subject have all said that the focus is on “corruption.” Navalny’s organization is called the Anti-Corruption Federation. I understand how summing several things into one word can seem like an over-simplification. I encourage you to add context where you see fit. There are several openings in this article where you could elaborate on inappropriate use of government funds… as long as you cite your work.

      Lastly, the term “dissident” has several synonyms we could use. I chose dissident because it is often used in the context of authoritarianism. I’m interested to hear more about what you mean by “stereotype of Soviet times.” Perhaps you could explain possible stigmas of being a critic of the USSR, and how that differs to from what Navalny is trying to accomplish.

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    Deleted User

    This seems to still have tons of edit notes throughout — should not go live if edit notes have not been addressed!

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