You will find an eyewitness description of the demonstrations in Moscow yesterday here.
You will also find a very interesting discussion of the charges by Prime Minister Putin that the United States has been trying to create an “Orange Revolution” against his regime here.
In my opinion these charges are ridiculous, but I also think that it is a mistake to have Americans directly involved as political activists in other countries. To do so weakens the indigenous democratic forces rather than strengthening them since it exposes them to the charge that they are acting as foreign agents.
Senior officials of the United States government have no business passing judgment on the political processes in other countries, so long as the government in question is not conducting egregious crimes such as mass murder, genocide, or ethnic cleansing. Condemnation of Qadhafi in Libya for the violence he unleashed against his people, and of Assad in Syria is appropriate and indeed necessary. But we have no grounds for acting as the world’s monitor of good government.
That does not mean that I believe Vladimir Putin has acted in the best interest of Russia in organizing his “directed democracy.” In my view it is not in Russia’s interest, but that is a matter for Russian citizens to deal with. Outside involvement is likely to backfire.