By Carl Gershman
National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman writes an op-end on Russia’s “Undesirable Organization” list
Russia’s newest anti-NGO law, under which the National Endowment for Democracy on Tuesday was declared an “undesirable organization”prohibited from operating in Russia, is the latest evidence that the regime of President Vladimir Putin faces a worsening crisis of political legitimacy. Putin may claim that the National Endowment for Democracy and other nongovernmental organizations are “a threat to Russia’s basic constitutional order,” and his labeling them as dangerous enemies, along with the Russian democrats he calls “national traitors,” is his typical way of rallying political support by appealing to nationalist fears and hostilities. But it is the regime itself that has been undermining Russia’s constitutional order through repression, corruption and international aggression; and the pressures are now building toward what many in Russia believe is a major political turning point.