Live Journal blogger hasid discusses the impossibility of liberalization with Medvedev (my tr.):
It’s really very strange to see liberals expecting a political thaw under Russia’s youngest president, Medvedev.
Surely some historian ought to explain to them that in Russia’s history any reform or thaw during an economic crisis leads to an even greater crisis.
Ever since the days of Muscovy, Russia has constantly teetered on the brink of becoming a failed state. Let’s leave for another occasion the reasons for this permanent lack of success in state-building. Facts are what matter right now.
On the contrary, during an economic crisis Russia has to tighten the screws with particular ferocity. During this period Russia must have curfews, prison sentences for being late, half the country must wear uniform on both body and face (sideburns, mustaches or beards, depending on social status).
Even the poorly educated modern youth that now surfs LJ ought to remember what liberalization led to under Gorbachev, during a period of very low oil prices…