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"mark harvester" Discussed on The Big Story
"With code, still dominating the world's attention, three global hotspots ushered in some dramatic changes. Russians approved the national referendum to revise the. Constitution on Wednesday this week that could see putting remain in power. Until the year two thousand, thirty, six, China's government passed sweeping new Security Law for Hong Kong for a lot of people in Hong Kong. This is considered a pretty dark day. Israeli government is pushing ahead with its plans to annex parts of the occupied. West, Bank. Some of the effects have been immediate in Hong Kong. Those little posted notes that were blooming symbols of democracy, just banished political parties dissolved in Palestine. Protests already raged about the annexation plan, which would take over as much as thirty percent of the West Bank that's land that's home to three million Palestinians and long hoped for is territory of a future sovereign Palestine. The frustration has only climbed since. Russians meanwhile are digesting their news while facing one of the highest Kobe nineteen case counts in the world, there will be long term consequences to in three moves a trio of world leaders shifting the political order setting in motion a reality. We could be dealing with for years. Why did this happen now? Did the pandemic play a part. Did didn't America in freefall encourage it, and what will it do to peace and the balance of power on the world stage? I'm Superman Ian sitting in for Jordan Heath. And this is the big story. Joining me today is mark McKinnon the senior international correspondent for the Globe and Mail. WHO's covered Russia China and Israel, and is now based in London Hi Mark Harvester. It's been a week or two of big changes if I may quote you back to yourself, you wrote recently that the world is changing in ways not easily reversed. Let's start with Russia. What happened there on July first yet? Russia has the obviously Russia's been on a trajectory for the last couple of decades, but on July first we saw. Maybe the completion of that trajectory, where we are no longer pretending that Russia has some democracy where everybody is voting for Vladimir Putin because he brings stability and patriotism that was the disappeared with the fall of the Soviet Union at this point. Russia is full on authoritarian regime. You could call it. A dictatorship even where they have. opened the door with a constitutional referendum lighter I to Mr Putin remaining in power for another sixteen years, he had four years remaining. That was supposed to take him the end of his term limit. This is the second time he's come to a term limit. This opened the door for him to stay in power until he's eighty three year old man. He came to power forty seven year old breath of fresh air after the Yeltsin era, and now he's GonNa Pass Joseph Stalin and challenge the reign of Peter the great if he if he lives to the end of these. Or isn't deposed to the end of this possible term limit that he's created and the referendum itself. By all accounts was. Farcical! People. There was no campaign allowed anybody who protested against journalists that wrote against that are being arrested in the days that follow and just looking at the way, votes were cast around the country, really high rates in places that don't make sense. Turnout surging in the last hours to sort of push up that the numbers to where the Kremlin wanted them to be. It really does look like it. Will you know these numbers can't be treated as a fair free and fair expression of Russia's popular? will either right I mean of course the official line is that more than seventy percent of Russians voted. Yes, and it's being interpreted by. The government is a big mandate for Putin. How does that actually jive with Putin's approval ratings? I've been covering Russia for twenty years now. I when I first landed in Russia, the Putin was was a year less less than a year into his time in power, and at the start of all this, he was a genuinely popular politician and if he'd left after. His first two presidential terms I think it's important to point out. He would've looked like a reformer and someone who had turned Russia around introduced. Stability to the system after the shocks of the nineteen ninety. These days, his approval ratings. The only independent speaks volumes didn't have itself. The only independent pollster in Russia says that approval rating currently is fifty nine percent, which sounds very high by western standards, but this two important things to remember about that the first is. that. Because of the pandemic, they weren't able to go. Conduct the pull the way they always do which they weren't able to go door to door so this is all done by telephone in post-soviet Russia. Someone calls you up and says do you support the government? A lot of people just say yes over the phone because they don't know who you are, they won't speak freely. And the other one is fifty nine percent tracks to be the lowest rating since before he ever came to power. Putin is despite everything. Are achieved, and and there are achievements. A Russian point of view over the last twenty years is now at his lowest ebb, and yet you see. This referendum where we're asking you know the Russians are being asked to give him another sixteen years in power apparently. Fourteen percent of the people who didn't even support him. Jumped in and voted. Yes, which makes sense you can see saying? I support him right now, but do I want them for another sixteen. A number less than fifty nine percent would have made some sense. Fourteen percent fourteen percent points higher looks just improbable. It as you pointed out. We've already seen a lot in Putin's twenty years in office. And we have a pretty good idea of what that looks like within Russia. What does it power grab of another sixteen years? Mean for the balance of. Internationally, I think the message that Putin has was very much trying to send by doing it this way. What by by going around is constitutional term limits for a second, maybe arguably a third time. Those inside and outside the country who are waiting for the day after Putin for the next Russian leader to come along, maybe not leader would would be different. Maybe that leader would would be more willing to accept. Ukraine's going a different direction. would be more willing to to seek partnership. With the west confrontation that day has now been pushed off to twenty thirty six. Perhaps at the earliest. Who knows what will happen then? So the message is that you're going to have to deal with me and also squelches any internal rivalries. It's going to be no guessing who comes an accident and he was very blunt. He said that as much on Russian television that if he doesn't do this. People are going to spend the next few years. Guessing who the next leader will be in that will create instability inside the system, and it's a word that Putin has very much hates the word instability idea of instability as a former KGB guy. So yes. Right now this Russian and challenge to the international order except that such a thing exists anymore. is going to continue, and that's going to mean continued conflict in Ukraine and. Continued conflict or you can see more. Middle Eastern countries who? Will turn to Russia for for backing and Russia like China and other country that we're ready to discuss doesn't attach conditions to. It's how you can be. You can be Bashar, al-Assad and as long as you're willing to. Cut Rush on your gas and oil deals bill support. It doesn't matter what you do to your own people, so let's switch to the middle. East July I was of course a big day for the government to then you mean Netanyahu. What was meant to happen on this day in Israel? What was meant to happen? What has been pushed off for the moment? We're not quite sure. How long was Israel after? Gosh it's been. The math here. More than. Fifty Years of occupying the West Bank was going to formalize that and extend an Israeli. Terminology extend sovereignty over parts of as much as thirty percent of it according to some plans. And would.