This is the legacy of McFaul in Russia. Instead of defending American values, McFaul minimized them. With a Ronald Reagan-style policy in place, perhaps Dozhd survives, perhaps Alexei Navalny does not get arrested and precluded from further participation in Russian elections.
The Russian ruble just hit a historical new low against the euro, and Russia’s manufacturing index dropped to a level it has hit only twice since the USSR collapsed, during the 1999 and 2009 economic crises. Russia has critical demographic issues. It is a weak country, in no position to resist a concerted demand from the U.S. to respect human rights and American values. But Obama and McFaul make no such demands, leaving Putin to be the proud KGB spy he is, building up Russian military power to the point where the U.S. once again faces a recalcitrant, nuclear monster.
It is now time for Republicans to demand an ambassador to Russia who understands that the country is ruled, as the House speaker recently proclaimed, by a “thug” who is sponsoring an American traitor and doing all he can to bring back the Cold War — with the aim of winning it this time.