“[T]he deeper problem lay in the nature of the people surrounding Vladimir Putin, the man who became president of Russia in 2000. Almost all of them came not just from the former Communist party, but, like Putin himself, from the former KGB . . . Deep down, neither Putin nor his comrades truly believed that Russian citizens, left to their own devices, would or could make good political or economic choices. Instead, they believed that unless controlled and manipulated by the Kremlin, Russian citizens would fall under the influence of foreign powers and act under foreign orders. These authorities did not, in other words, truly believe in the existence of individual liberty at all, let alone civil society . . . [I]nstead of independent groups, initiated by private citizens and funded privately, the Russian administration created a state-financed, and state-organized, ‘civil society,’ allegedly intended to serve the same purpose . . . Putinism is the post-Communist ideology that most explicitly rejects individual liberty and civil society”
Anne Applebaum, “Liberty in the Post-Communist World, in Liberty and Civilization, edited by Roger Scruton (New York: Encounter Books, 2010), pp. 40, 42.