“My enemy’s enemymy is my friend,” goes the old ld saying, and at first glance lance Sergei Udaltsov, the Russian political ical activist, would look ook like a candidate for Ukraine’s Friend of the Week.
A fierce critic of Ukraine’s chief foe, Russian dictator Vladimirladimir Putin, Udaltsov was among the leaders of protests rotests in 2012 against the Russian president’s nt’s re-election. He was sentenced in 2014 4 to serve four-and-a-half -half years in a penal camp for organizing a May 2012 protest thatt turned violent. He went on hunger strike while imprisoned, and was named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. He was released in August 2017.
Udaltsov says he wants Russia to develop from an autocratic state into a social democracy.
However, he has said he will not work with a more well-known opponent of Putin, Alexey Navalny, whom he has accused of “flirting with the West,” and it is here that alarm bells start to ring. While saying he does not want the return of the centrally planned economy of the Soviet Union, Udaltsov seems to be misty-eyed about that odious totalitarian state, which tortured and killed millions of its own people before it finally collapsed in 1991. He says he wants to keep what was good in the Soviet system — whatever that may have been. But most disturbingly, Udaltsov recently went on record as supporting both Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and Russia’s military intervention in the Donbas. He has described Russia’s sham referendum on Crimea joiningjoinin Russia as a democraticcrat vote that expressed the “will of the people, to be with Russia.” It can be assumed that UdaltsovU is not naive — he is very familiar with the ways the Kremlin holds votes and has gone to prison for opposingop them. So his supportsuppo for the Kremlin’s land grab can only indicate thattha he thinks the reconstitutionsti of the Soviet UnionUn — which nowadays meansme Russian nationalism and Russian imperialism — is more important than international law, democracy,democ and human rights. Indeed,Indee he is on record as saying he is “a Soviet patriot and consider(s) the destruction of the Soviet Union the greatest mistake and a crime,” – which echoes a very similar statement made by none other than Vladimir Putin. So despite his anti-Putin credentials, Udaltsov’s disregard for Ukraine’s sovereignty qualifies him to be Foe of the Week and gets him an Order of Lenin. With friends like Udaltsov, Ukraine wouldn’t need foes. Order of Lenin