Sir Roderick Braithwaite expounds a sensible and sober assessment of Russian democracy in the Moscow Times, via the Financial Times. He rubbishes both the notion that the west needs to dictate to Russia how its government should be ordered and also the argument that Russians are genetically indisposed to democracy and incapable of instigating it.
Braithwaite argues that Russians are a sophisticated and knowledgeable electorate, quite capable of using the franchise they do possess to unseat a regime should they wish to. He sees their assent for Putin and now Medvedev as a rational response to the chaotic 1990s. This argument is well-founded and dismisses the mildly racist suggestions that Russians are incorrigible opponents of democratic politics.
The former UK Ambassador’s conclusion is that we should allow Russia to find its own way to democracy without excoriating attacks on the character of its regime.