"Reform in Russia: Free Market, Yes; Free Politics, Maybe: Washington's Civic Dreams For Old Foe Fade as People Focus on Making a Living," by Andrew Higgins, Wall Street Journal, 24 May, p. A1.
More depressing analysis from a former Soviet expert (Stanford's Michael McFaul) complaining that Russia isn't becoming a mature democracy fast enough. So they've embraced free markets and don't threaten the U.S. anymore and spend close to nothing on their military, but wait! McFaul's scary thesis is that Russia will get rich and then threaten us again. He whines, "Our assumptions were all wrong. We all assumed that when the economy began to turn around, most people would support liberal politics. They don't."
End of story. McFaul had his assumptions and they've not been met on his timetable!
We're supposed to freak because, after all the economic thievery and political tumult of the 1990s (not to mention Chechnya), the Russians seem to prefer Putin's "controllable democracy" over the alternative, which is more of the same.
News flash! Former Soviet experts deeply miss former Soviet Union!