But the move to curtail internet freedom and the crackd

  own on religious minorities reflect broader official paranoia about internal threats. Russia’s top leadership has a conspiratorial view of the world, with Rus

sia opposed by foreign adversaries from without and of fifth columnists from within.

  Putin talks pocketbook issues, but still brandishes missiles

  In a speech last weekend, Russia’s top military officer, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, poi

nted to the “aggressive vector” of the foreign policy of the US and its allies, suggesting they were employing tec

hnology of “color revolutions” and “soft power” to promote regime change around the globe, including in Russia.

  ”Their goal is the elimination of the statehood of unwanted c

ountries, the undermining of sovereignty, the change of lawfully elected bodies of state power,” Ger

asimov said. “So it was in Iraq, in Libya and in Ukraine. Currently, similar actions are observed in Venezuela.”

  Such talk reflects wider worry about internal dissent, particularly in a country where the

political opposition has no access to state airwaves and Putin has a monopoly on power.


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