As the number of Vladimir Putin’s violations of international law and normal morality grows, ever more people are offering lists of the actions for which he must be held accountable. Three particularly interesting examples of that trend have been offered over the last several days.
· “Putin is a usurper” who destroyed Russia’s parliament, courts, regional power and so on.
· “Putin is an enemy of progress and an enemy of culture,” who has driven society back toward medievalism, promoted “pseudo-Orthodox traditions, caricature-like puritanism and homophobia,” and opposition to so many features of modernity including the Internet.
· “Putin stole May 9,” the only holiday that truly unites all Russians in order to build his power.
· “Putin is a man of the past,” who has implemented in Russia everything bad that he and others like him believed about the West in their youth: militarism, police rule, the cult of geopolitics, and a belief in conspiracies.
· “Putin is a revanchist,” who is restoring those parts of the Soviet past that no one wants back including the nomenklatura, ideological diktat, and a fencing off the rest of the world.
· “Putin is a builder of a state that is hostile to its own population,” as shown by Chechnya.
· “Putin is the president of unrealized hopes and marching in place.”
· “Putin is the president of the lie.”
· “Putin is a cynic” who believes that everyone can be bought or intimidated.
· “Putin has deprived Russia of its faith in itself.”
· “Usurpation of power and illegal revision of the Constitution.”
· Blowing Up the Apartment Buildings in 1999 to restart the Chechen war.
· Blocking the resolution of frozen conflicts in Abkhazia and Transnistria.
· “Unleashing and conducting aggressive wars of conquest in Georgia and Ukraine,” during which he ignored international law and agreements.
· Corrupt and illegal actions while he was in St. Petersburg.
· The Magnitsky case, for which he bears responsibility for blocking a genuine investigation if not more.
· Illegal seize of property and use of the legal system against Yukos and Mikhail Khordokovsky.
· The murder of Alexander Litvinenko.
· Crimes against humanity in Syria.
· Laundering criminally obtained moneys and corruption.
· “The hero-ization of Stalin (‘an effective manager’), the USSR (‘he who does not regret the disintegration of the USSR doesn’t have a heart’), and the CPSU (‘Unlike many former members of the CPSU, I haven’t burned but rather preserved my party card’).”
· “Ineffective and unprofessional administration of the Russian economy,” leading to its current “catastrophic state.”