It recently has become fashionable in some American and European circles to suggest that Russia is reverting to the lost era of the former Soviet Union. This has caused Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, said to be a Russian expert, to discuss this subject with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Dr. Rice served as Senior Director of Soviet and Eastern European Affairs in the National Security Council for President George Herbert Walker Bush.
When the late great Dr. Robert (“Bob”) Krieble and I met with President George Herbert Walker Bush to express the view of the Democracy Movement regarding the Baltic States, Rice and, thus, Bush ’41 supported the Kremlin line that the Soviet Union must be preserved at all costs and that the Democracy Movement caused the problems in Lithuania, for example, not the Soviets who killed 13 people when they moved in to re-claim an embattled radio station in Vilnius. (Krieble, the inventor of industrial Super Glue, funded the effort to support the Democracy Movement and to topple the Soviets. Miss Rice then was the Special Assistant to the President for National Security. Rice appeared to be hostile to our recommendation.
The question is whether the Putin proposal to revise the regulation of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) would be an end to freedom in Russia and a reversion to Soviet Union policy. Arkady Murashev, former Member of the National Duma of the Soviet Union and of the State Duma after the Communists had been overthrown, has guided my thinking about developments in Russia since the late 1980s, when he was Secretary to the Interregional Group, a group of pro-Western Members of the Duma who advocated reform. The Interregional Group was led by the late Andrea Shakarov. Recently Dr. Edward D. (“Ed”) Lozansky, who contributes to several Russian publications, and is President of the American University in Moscow, interviewed Murashev.