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Los Angeles Times: PR firms and nice suits hide authoritarian intentions of Yanukovych

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Oct. 1, 2012, 4:22 p.m. | Op-ed — by Los Angeles Times

Cartoon by David Horsey, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and political commentator for the Los Angeles Times
© Cartoon by David Horsey

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is the model of a new kind of power-grabbing authoritarian. Gone is the preening, bullying fascist in a comical military costume, like Hitler or Mussolini. Mao’s jacket and Fidel Castro’s combat fatigues are out of fashion. Today, it is all business. Today, Stalin would be wearing Hugo Boss or Brooks Brothers, his mustache would be shaved off and he, like Yanukovych, would look like any chief executive flying business class.

The pogrom and the putsch have given way to PR. Yanukovych has hired lobbyists and public relations teams to help him project a progressive image while he quietly squeezes the press and rejiggers election laws to guarantee his party permanent rule.

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