"Vladislav Y. Surkov, a former advertising prodigy, coined the term 'sovereign democracy' to describe his system, which preserved the electoral process but hollowed out institutions capable of challenging the Kremlin’s power. Asked by a journalist from Interfax on Tuesday why he was leaving, Mr. Surkov first answered, 'Stabilization devours its own children.'"
"Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he would not tolerate further protests, which have spread in the former Soviet republic as a financial crisis worsens."
"They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler."