Snowden affair challenges Putin

Regarding the Aug. 6 article by Lilia Shevtsova from Moscow titled “Putin may be the only winner in Snowden affair“: I don’t think so. Although the article describes the problem of balancing security and liberty, I find the affair to be the result of low-level trickery by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin seems to live in an upside-down world. He wears European clothes, yet he is a typical Marxist-Leninist. He deploys a diversity of tactics including overt and covert propaganda, mass demonstrations, controlled international assemblies, disinformation and, some would allege, criminal acts.

Putin exemplifies the success of what the former KGB termed as “active measures.” Any of these tactics are invoked for a limited purpose: to defame a foreign leader or a powerful Russian figure.

So, we need to discuss security, privacy and freedom. I think the Snowden affair has begotten many losers, and it has given Putin grounds to discuss U.S. criticism of his authoritarian rule.

noriko fujita
nakahiro, hyogo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.