Friends in Need

The world hasn't changed, Vladimir Putin feels, it has simply come round to his way of thinking. Fear of terrorism and the need for a strong state have long prevailed in Russia.

Now Russian commentators are taking great pleasure in the sudden shift from values the West once championed as inviolable, such as support for an impartial media and abhorrence of detention without trial, to a somewhat bleaker, more Russian perspective.

A few months ago Western countries were pummeling Putin for his crackdown on NTV, the independent TV station whose blatant criticism of...

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