Russia Turning Into Dictatorship, says Former Putin Advisor

This one should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The former chief economic advisor to Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Der Spiegel, and here's part of the conversation:

SPIEGEL: Who decided to deal with the protestors so harshly, the president or his advisors?

Illarionov: It certainly didn't happen at the level of Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev alone. It's hard to imagine that such decisions were made without the knowledge of our country's top leadership.

SPIEGEL: There is no evidence whatsoever of any threat to the government. The economy is growing by upwards of six percent, and Russians are traveling abroad on vacation and buying cars. Why doesn't the Kremlin simply accept peaceful demonstrations?

Illarionov: Our rulers act according to a different logic. Putin himself said, and he was probably right, that there are no former intelligence agents. They were specifically trained to hunt down enemies. And if there are none, then they create them.

We could be seeing the Russian Bear sharpening his claws again. I dunno about you, but that doesn't make me feel very warm and fuzzy.