Is putin a good leader?
Debate Rounds (5)
Today, I will be talking about one of the most controversial leaders in history, Vladimir Putin. For the record, "Good leader" will mean, was he good for Russia, not America.
Putin, unlike America`s leaders, is well loved by his people. Although countries like America and Ukraine critic a large amount of piton`s ideals, Russians say different. In fact, Putin`s approval rating is at a all time high, 86%! The only U.S. Presidents to rival the colossal support piton has are: JFK,Harry s. Truman,and George HW bush. However, Harry S. Truman`s rating soon went down to 22%, and JFK got killed.
The Russian economy was improved during the time putin was in power. Every year, wages were raised 12% , and Putin managed to put income tax on a 13%. This allowed Russia to successfully hold off the black market. During the Putin decade, Putin payed off debt until it wasn`t a major problem, giving the Russian federation an edge over the west. Under Vladimir, the Russian small businesses had more of a say, for example, 2 choices on there taxes. It is estimated 5500 enterprises has turned to private enterprise as well.
The World Bank reported: "Russia's strong short-term macroeconomic fundamentals make it better prepared than many emerging economies to deal with the crisis . . . Prudent fiscal management and substantial financial reserves have protected Russia from deeper consequences of this external shock.' This effectively shows how great putin harnessed the economy.
The last thing is the military. Under putin, the full might of the Russian bear was roaring in power. Also by putin, 100 new satellites were built. To continue, the next generation air planes, thousands of tanks, and Russia`s one of a kind elite forces are indeed, strong. Also under Putin, Russia has passed America`s nukes, for the first time in 40 years.
Thanks to my opponent for instigating this debate. I will now present my case for why Putin is not a "good" leader. I will reserve my rebuttals for the next round.
The resolution asks us to determine whether Putin is indeed a good leader for Russia. This of course insists that we have an idea of what "good" is by which we can asses Putin's goodness. According to Merriam Webster , there are several conceptions of good, including (1) "profitable, advantageous," (2) "virtuous, right, commendable," and (3) "skillful." Given that no specific conception of good is elucidated in R1, that it would be unfair to retroactively impose one in R2, and that all 3 of these conceptions could believably fit into the resolution's context, I would suggest that all 3 of these notions should be used to evaluate Putin's goodness. Sure, a truly good leader is not just generating noticeable, net benefits for his or her people, but is doing so in a moral fashion.
It is also important, before we get any farther along to establish the burdens in the debate, since there was no specification as to what they would be. Given that the notion of good involves both empirical and normative claims (net benefits and morality), the burdens are not quite clear-cut. However, in that a failure to make the empirical case would result in a failure to show that Putin is an overall good leader, we can put much of the burden on Pro. Recall that a good leader is both ethical and brings concrete benefits, and so Pro must demonstrate that Putin is both of those things. In issues of fact, the burden traditionally lies on the claimant, and, in this case, that is Pro. So, because one of the two things Pro needs to prove to win is something that Pro has the sole BOP for, and the other thing (a normative claim) is typically shared, it is actually a harder hill for Pro to climb than for me. Now that a lot of the framework stuff is out of the way, I can proceed to my arguments.
Firstly, Putin is not a virtuous leader. Russia under his leadership has been a place of significant human rights abuses and repressive/authoritarian policies. To list a few such violations :
a) "A 2012 law requires NGOs receiving foreign funding and conducting broadly defined 'political activity' to register as 'foreign agents,' effectively demonizing them as foreign spies. Authorities define as 'political' such work as urging reforms, raising awareness, and assisting victims of abuse...[A]uthorities subjected hundreds of NGOs to invasive inspections to intimidate groups and pressure them to register...Two groups were forced to close as a result; at least three chose to wind up operations to avoid further repressive legal actions. The Prosecutor's Office ordered dozens of other groups to register or warned they might need to do so."
b) "In June 2013, parliament unanimously adopted a law banning promotion among children of 'propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships,'....Violators risk stiff fines, and in the case of foreigners, up to 15 days' detention and deportation. Beginning in 2006, similar laws outlawing 'propaganda of homosexuality' among children were passed in 11 Russian regions. Also in June, parliament passed a law banning adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples and by unmarried individuals from countries where marriage for same-sex couples is legal. In September, several deputies introduced a bill that would make a parent’s homosexuality legal grounds for denial of parental rights...Homophobic rhetoric, including by officials, and rising homophobic violence accompanied debate about these laws...A few investigations were launched, but have not yet resulted in effective prosecution."
c) "In June 2013, President Vladimir Putin signed a law imposing a maximum three-year prison sentence for publicly 'insult[ing] the feelings of religious believers.' The law provides no clear definition of acts or speech considered 'insulting.'...At time of writing, parliament was debating a bill to ban criticism challenging the fairness of Nuremberg Trial judgments...Doing so in the media or while holding a public office carries a harsher criminal penalty of up to five years in prison."
d) "[E]ight people suffered abduction-style detentions by government agencies in Dagestan, with five still unaccounted for at time of writing...In 2013, persecution by law enforcement officials of Salafis increased. Unprosecuted abuses, including torture, abductions, and attacks against suspected insurgents and their families served to alienate Salafi communities. To combat 'extremists,' the authorities condoned the rise of people’s militias, which have driven some Salafis to flee their homes."
e) "At time of writing, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) had issued over 200 judgments holding Russia responsible for grave human rights violations in Chechnya...While Russia continues to pay the required monetary compensation to victims, it fails to meaningfully implement the core of the judgments by not conducting effective investigations, and failing to hold perpetrators accountable."
f) "Authorities continued to intimidate and harass organizations, individuals, and journalists who criticized the local government in the Black Sea city of Sochi, including for its preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games...Police detained on false charges at least one worker who tried to complain about exploitation. Local authorities failed to effectively investigate workers' complaints...The authorities are resettling more than 2,000 families to obtain land for Olympic venues and infrastructure. Not all of those evicted have received fair compensation. The authorities refuse to compensate or resettle other families whose properties have been severely damaged or altered by Olympic construction."
And, none of these 6 points adequately touch on Russia's increasing tendency to arrest political opponents of the government and Putin. [2, 3] These points do show, however, that there are significant restrictions on the freedoms of the press, free speech, free assembly, and due process rights. Additionally, they show a willingness by the Russia govern to persecute and demonize various groups without due cause.
Secondly, Putin's actions in Ukraine have substantially harmed Russia's global image and reputation, which will likely harm the nation's ability to fruitfully exercise soft-power policies. "Across the 44 countries surveyed, a median percentage of 43% have unfavorable opinions of Russia, compared with 34% who are positive. Negative ratings of Russia have increased significantly since 2013 in 20 of the 36 countries surveyed in both years, decreased in six and stayed relatively similar in the remaining 10."  Also, "Majorities or pluralities in 25 of the 44 countries surveyed say they lack confidence in Putin to do the right thing in world affairs...Majorities or pluralities in 16 of the 44 countries surveyed say the Russian government does not respect the personal freedoms of its people...This view has increased dramatically since the previous time Pew Research asked the question in 2008 in the U.S." 
Thirdly, Russia has a massive income gap. "An estimated 111 billionaires control nearly a fifth of all household wealth in the country. That’s according to the 2014 Credit Suisse analysis, which found that those in the top 10 percent of the population control a staggering 85 percent of wealth in Russia. Worldwide, there is about one billionaire for every $170 billion in household wealth; in Russia, there is one for every $11 billion."  This problem is linked to high levels of corruption which Putin has failed to effectively counteract. "90 percent of entrepreneurs have encountered corruption at least once. Among households, corruption ranked as the second biggest problem in the country...Perceptions are equally troubling when Russia was compared against international peers such as Brazil, China, India and the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In 2014, Russia ranked lower than each in Transparency International's annual corruption perceptions index. Worldwide, it came in at 136 out of 174." 
Fourthly, Russia's actions in Ukraine and the international ire surrounding them, have resulted in economic woes for Russia, including a lack of access to outside credit, a damaged ruble, capital flight, and reduced trade--all a a result of sanctions.  These ill-effects are compounded by falling oil prices;  which diminishes the value of one of Russia's key export products.  Targeted sanctions and travel bans placed on Russian officials and their allies also limit their effectiveness at governing or conducting business.
Finally, Russia is plagued by a variety of structural economic problems and bad economic policies. "Putin’s allies...talk about...increasing state involvement in the economy. Notwithstanding the failures of such policies around the globe, the industrial 'white elephants' are in evidence from Brazil to India. Besides government interference, Russian industry continues to suffer from other systemic problems...These include poor intellectual property protection; structural distortions; significant aging of the main capital stock; low adoption rates of innovations; and technological lags in a range of sectors...Low labor productivity, high costs for raw materials, energy-insensitive production methods, shortage of state-of-the-art production equipment, an insufficient share of production with high value added, insufficient human capital, and insufficient access to financial resources are rampant." 
Thus, I negate. Putin is not a good leader.
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As I said in my round, I clearly stated if he was good for Russia, meaning was he a benefit to Russia. So this round, I will rebut and make arguments based on that.
My opponent says putin caused several human rights abuses.
a) I have concrete evidence here, that Putin does NOT Kill opposition. The fact is, there is no rational reasoning to why he would do this, and both Russian and American agencies agree. Also, long critics like Mikhail Gorbachev ( Although he DID praise putin for Ukraine) agree.
b) Putin is merely taking a stance in BIG issues, and doing is job as a Conservative. Also, in Russia`s perspective, Putin is really only protecting children from a debatable, controversial, and potentially offensive views. His actions drag the argument more in my favor, instead of con`s. In fact, at the winter Olympics, Putin assured LGBTs, "just leave children alone. One can feel perfectly sound and safe". This proves he didn`t purposely harass gays, he only did the right thing and protected minors. Also, there is no reliable proof that Putin used torture on gays, but there is proof Putin is protecting minors.
c) I don`t see how protecting religion is human rights abuse. Russia had a problem that relligous people are being insulted, and Putin fixed this problem. This is a step to protect human rights, not attack it.
d) there is no proof the 8 suspects are innocent either. Putin is an ex-KGB agent and knows about when abuses are human rights abuses. Also, putin is only continuing is part to defeat terror. He vowed to defeat terrorism in response to unjust attacks, and is doing so by using his skills as a ex-kgb agent, capturing suspects. Until the suspects can prove that they are innocent, Putin is merely protecting his nation.
e) You yourself admitted Russia payed the required monetary funds, meaning he is trying to do the right thing. All Putin had to do, as stated, was pay the required funds, and he did.
f) Actually, Putin is holding his promise that gays will be safe. Putin stated gays will be safe, and he must fulfill this promise, like every good leader does. The only people who bothered this Russian and many more were journalists. And the group that tried to harass the most LGBTs, were journalists. Putin is only giving the LGBT community protection, and fellow Russians joy.
"Secondly, Putin's actions in Ukraine have substantially harmed Russia's global image and reputation, which will likely harm the nation's ability to fruitfully exercise soft-power policies"
However, Putin finds clever ways to fight the sanctions. His long-term plan was china, not only did the two nations get warmer in Putin`s reign, but putin got china to help Russia in the sanctions. With a gas deal helping both Russia and china, and this one being big as the earlier $400 billion one, Putin not only saves the economy, but also effectively responded by hurting the U.S. Dollar.
He also showed a clever maneuver- switching trade partners. This can also be an effective backlash for western efforts.
Also, Putin is actually winning in Ukraine, and there are reasons why:
To sum it up, Putin effectively racked up Ukrainian wounded to 10,948, and his army was able to boast 7 complete advantages against Ukraine.
"Thirdly, Russia has a massive income gap. " " This problem is linked to high levels of corruption which Putin has failed to effectively counteract"
What do you mean Putin was`t able to fight corruption? Putin has success in this department, in fact, Russians gave support to this cause, and polls show they agree with almost every restriction Putin places to fight corruption. Putin also uses trouble-proof compromise. This also supports my argument that Putin does not abuse his people, Society was encouraged to pinpoint corrupt officials, even himself if the pubic thought he was! (the public did not) Even a U.K site thought his ideas were bound to success.
"Fourthly, Russia's actions in Ukraine and the international ire surrounding them, have resulted in economic woes for Russia, including a lack of access to outside credit, a damaged ruble, capital flight, and reduced trade--all a result of sanctions"
For a while, it did, but he eventually found a way to get around it. As a direct result to Putin`s clever shift in partners, BRICS became unified, And both India and China has opened up to Russia. The brics alliance now fully supports russia despite multiple attempts to convince them otherwise by the west.
"Putin"s allies...Talk about...Increasing state involvement in the economy. Notwithstanding the failures of such policies around the globe, the industrial 'white elephants' are in evidence from Brazil to India. Besides government interference, Russian industry continues to suffer from other systemic problems...These include poor intellectual property protection; structural distortions; significant aging of the main capital stock; low adoption rates of innovations; and technological lags in a range of sectors...Low labor productivity, high costs for raw materials, energy-insensitive production methods, shortage of state-of-the-art production equipment, an insufficient share of production with high value added, insufficient human capital, and insufficient access to financial resources are rampant."
The brics alliance does NOT suffer from these things. In fact, their economy holds strong as ever. Just see this graph!
I was able to rebut all of the opponent`s arguments with evidence and logic. Therefore, what only remains is why Putin was a good leader, not a bad one.
Thanks again to Pro. At this time, I will be rebutting Pro's case. I will defend my own next round.
Pro offers three constructive reasons as to why Putin is a good leader: (a) that he is popular in Russia, (b) that the Russian economy is solid, and (c) that Russia's military strength has been revived. I will address each of these arguments in turn.
(a.1) This is an ad populum fallacy. What this means is that just because a majority of people believe X does not make X true. For instance, at one point in history, most people believed in Geocentricity, yet that view was, in retrospect, obviously false. Just because it was popular doesn't mean it was right. Similarly, just because Putin is popular, that doesn't mean he is a good leader. Popularity can be bought through publicity stunts or through popular but ill-advised programs. In Thailand, for instance, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra implemented a hugely popular rice pledging program that was economically ill-advised and was projected to lose Thailand about $20 billion.  Another example is George Bush, who at one time commanded a 90% popularity rating  (which I believe is the highest ever recorded since polling began), but yet he is consistently ranked in the bottom quartile of Presidents by historians and other experts.  Clear, a popular leader is not always a good leader.
(a.2) Putin's popularity is bought and the expense of freedom of the press. "Putin's popularity has been achieved in an information vacuum. An informal set of censorship rules, actively enforced by the Kremlin, makes it virtually impossible to discuss important issues and question official actions through the mass media. Today, independent voices rarely reach into Russian living rooms over the airwaves. In recent months, the government has tightened its noose, pressuring even outlets serving niche audiences, such as the news Web site Lenta.ru, the newspaper Vedomosti and the Moscow station TV Rain. Meanwhile, feverish state propaganda feeds Russian television audiences an unchallenged and delusive flow of information designed to show the country’s leaders in the most positive light while blaming problems on 'fascists,' 'foreign agents' and 'fifth columns.'" 
(a.3) Pollsters cannot be relied on to provide accurate numbers. "The Levada Centre has struggled to maintain its independence and last year prosecutors threatened it with inclusion on a government list of 'foreign agents'--NGOs that receive foreign funding and are therefore seen as potential fifth columnists for western states. Political surveys conducted by telephone in a country where people fear retribution for criticising the authorities may not be the best test of sentiment. Saying you love the leader is the safest thing, just in case someone is listening in or noting down your name." 
(a.4) Putin's popularity could be attributed to a lack of alternatives due to his suppression of political opponents.  "Emerging opposition leaders are either removed, smeared or co-opted before they gain sufficient popularity to present a threat. A popularity figure of 80-plus percent simply tells us that Russians cannot conceive of an alternative to Putin." 
(a.5) Many people are voting with their feet and fleeing the country. "[W]ell-educated professionals are emigrating from Russia in massive numbers. According to Rosstat, Russia’s federal statistics service, more than 300,000 people left the country from 2012 to 2013, a migration that tellingly coincides with Putin’s stage-managed return for a third presidential term; the rate of departures climbed even higher after the annexation of Crimea last year. By comparison, approximately 70,000 people left from 2010 to 2011. The cream of Russian society is voting with its feet, leaving a stultifying, ever more corrupt environment for greener pastures." 
(a.6) Many Russians, even if they supported Putin, disagree with some of his bigger policy decisions. "Over the past nine months opinion polls find that support for the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine have fallen from 74% to 23%. Many who dismissed Western sanctions as irrelevant now fret over Russia's isolation." 
(b.1.1) Russia's economy is essentially a monoculture economy. Petroleum products make up between 63.1% and 68% of its exports, [7,14] meaning that the Russian economy is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in the oil market. Putin was able to deliver economic growth to Russia because oil was highly priced, earning Russia greater returns for their key product. However, Putin delivered this growth by creating an economy with inherently unstable fundamentals: a collapse in oil prices would also mean a collapse in revenue and likely a recession. Diversified economies are much more stable than monocultures because there are a variety of sectors that can pick up the economic slack if one sector is doing poorly. In Russia, that is not the case. They've put all their eggs into one proverbial basket. In fact, non-extractive parts of the economy (e.g. manufacturing) have actually been decreasing, so Russia is likely to become even more reliant on petroleum in the future.  So, sure, Russia's economy has undeniably grown since Putin took office, growth itself is not a measure of a good economy. Putin has built a house on an unstable foundation, and that's not what a good leader should be doing. In sum: "it's only a small simplification to say that Russia doesn't so much have an economy as an oil exporting business that subsidizes everything else." 
(b.1.2) Pegging the Russian economy to oil has also meant that the ruble is heavily reliant on the value of oil. "When the oil price falls, so does the rouble; thus in rouble terms the amount of money the oil brings in stays roughly the same. But it cannot buy as much. Russia imports a great deal--the total value of imported goods, $45 billion in 2000, was $341 billion in 2013--and so a devalued rouble quickly stokes inflation."  "A weak rouble also makes servicing foreign debt more expensive. Russia's sovereign debt is just $57 billion, but its corporate debt is ten times as high. Some of it has been racked up by state corporations and national energy companies, which gives it a quasi-sovereign status. And by the end of 2015 Russian firms will have to repay about $130 billion of foreign debt." 
(b.2) Russia's economy has been hurt by the sanctions that Putin invited through his actions in Ukraine. Cross-apply my arguments from last round here.
(c.1) National security is more than just building new military technologies; it is about creating a sustainable defense infrastructure, which Putin has failed to do. "But defense spending is closely tied to global energy prices, which can fluctuate significantly. (Oil and gas account for more than half of Russia's federal revenues, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.) A roughly 50 percent plunge in oil prices from mid-2014 to early-2015, coupled with the rising costs of international sanctions, has forced Russia to consider major budget cuts." 
(c.2) Putin's new imperialism has and will continue to hurt Russia's defense sector. "But Putin's assertiveness has come with a cost. The Group of Eight (now G7) cut Moscow out of its elite club in March 2014, and top Russian officials, banks, and businesses face an array of Western sanctions...The Russian military has also suffered: France has delayed delivery of two warships, and Ukraine has moved to end its extensive defense-industrial cooperation with Moscow."  Ukraine, in fact, produces a large amount of Russia's weapons: "Ukraine was the world’s eighth-biggest supplier of arms in 2009-2013, according to SIPRI. Russia was the fourth-biggest buyer of Ukrainian defense-related products in 2009-2013 after China, Ethiopia and Pakistan, SIPRI said."  Ukrainian experts also inspect Russia's ICBMs, since major components of those systems were produced in Ukraine. While Russia could conduct the inspections themselves, it would be a significant set-back to lose the Ukrainian expertise.  Ukraine's "move to end" its defense connects with Russia could therefore substantially damage Russia's military capabilities and ambitions.
(c.3) Russia's military really isn't as modern as Pro claims it is. "The Russian air force remains the second-largest in the world, with approximately 2,500 aircraft in service, but most date from the 1980s."  "rearmament has been slow, and much of the military's equipment remains decades old. The once formidable Soviet navy is now little more than a coastal protection force. All of the navy's large vessels, including its sole aircraft carrier, the non-nuclear Kuznetsov, are holdovers from the Cold War. (By comparison, the United States has ten nuclear carriers and builds several new warships each year.) While Russia plans to reestablish its "blue-water navy," analysts say it won't be able to produce a new fleet of large warships for at least a decade."  "[T]he newest Satan missiles are almost 25 years old and nearing the end of their service lifetime." 
(c.4) Russia hasn't surpassed our nuclear capabilities. "Russia's vast nuclear arsenal remains on par with the United States and is the country's only residual great power feature, according to military analysts." 
Russia may look strong on the surface, but the fundamentals that "strength" is built on are incredibly weak and susceptible to shocks and shifts. Thus, I negate.
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(r.1) "Another example is George Bush, who at one time commanded a 90% popularity rating "
". In Thailand, for instance, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra implemented a hugely popular rice pledging program that was economically ill-advised and was projected to lose Thailand about $20 billion."
Yes, but why did they go unpopular? My source says bush was unpopular because of collapsed economy, slow reactions, and the war in Iraq.
1. Iraq. Russia`s war against Ukraine results in Russian victory (see source above) and does not damage the economy, although it could have if Putin was not a good leader. Unlike bush, Putin is winning his equalivent of the Iraq war because of his good leadership. Also, Ukraine had less casualties than Iraq.
2. Economy. Putin`s Russia was on brink of collapse, but he managed to save it with a political switch in partners, proving he is a good leader who knows how to handle the economy responsibly, a fundamental difference between him and bush.
3. Slow reactions. Putin has fast and effective reactions. This is what his reactions to sanctions were, for example. (the source down there by Forbes)
r.2 "Putin's popularity is bought and the expense of freedom of the press"
I will not defend Putin about his censorship, he does in fact, censor. However, what does he censor? It`s pretty funny how "censorship" has gotten closer and closer with "propaganda". Actually, Putin censors more offensive things, like pornography, which Putin was able to successfully censor out. Therefore, his censorship is a good thing, not a bad one.
r.3 "Pollsters cannot be relied on to provide accurate numbers"
No one has a better solution for getting their opinions, and the most accurate method says he is good, therefore, he is good.
r.4 "Putin's popularity could be attributed to a lack of alternatives due to his suppression of political opponents"
Putin killing opposition IS A MYTH. As I said, the top ally of opposition, Gorbachev, AND the U.S. Voice of government all agree on this.
r.5 "Many people are voting with their feet and fleeing the country"
Can this be directly connected with Putin? The law clearly states Putin is allowed for a third term, so is he not merely exercising his rights?
r.6 " Many Russians, even if they supported Putin, disagree with some of his bigger policy decisions"
That does not mean Putin is a bad leader. In fact, people disagreeing PROVES that Putin does not censor. Also, keep in mind the people who disagree with him on certain subjects do support Putin, as you said in your own argument.
r.7 "However, Putin delivered this growth by creating an economy with inherently unstable fundamentals: a collapse in oil prices would also mean a collapse in revenue and likely a recession."
As seen by my source, yes Russia has quite alot of exports regarding oil, but it`s actually more of a mining economy than a oil one, it has nickel, gold, and diamonds to back it`s economy up.
r.8 "Russia's economy has been hurt by the sanctions that Putin invited through his actions in Ukraine. Cross-apply my arguments from last round here."
Please also cross-apply my arguments. If my argument were not enough, Putin has shown one does not simply attempt to cripple the Russian federation without it`s own problems. Putin has seen Obama`s mistake in sanctions, The fact is, the sanctions not only hurt Europe, but damage the dollar.
Also, Putin was able to use BRICS against sanctions, extra source here:
r.9 "Russia's vast nuclear arsenal remains on par with the United States and is the country's only residual great power feature, according to military analysts."
Russia actually has more nukes than the U.S.A and NATO combined. They have around 5,000 stragetic nukes, most operational and other getting ready for operation once again. Also, you might want to throw in NK, CHINA, and INDIA`S nukes in there.
r.10 Putin allowed Russia on the GDP`s best military on #2, and china, Russia, and India is more than enough to bring the U.S.A down. Your argument on Ukraine is irrelevant, as Russia is the second largest exporter compared to Ukraine. Also, Russia is a modern army, it showed it`s technology at Ukraine.
Therefore, all my arguments stand as is.
Putin also has been able to lead a successful war on drugs, compared to a now legalizing west. I have also brought proof that Putin is not restrict his activities to Russia, he is forming special units to reach out and kill those involved in the drug trade.
Thanks, Pro. I will now rebut his R2 remarks.
I think it's important to note that Pro never defined what good meant in his opening round. Any attempt to impose a definition retroactively is unfair to me. Just because Pro gave arguments based on concrete benefits, there was no reason for me to believe that arguments about Putin's moral goodness were impermissible. Both interpretations logically fit the resolution, are common understandings of the term, and, as I showed last round, are supported by credible dictionaries. Plus, Pro drops that: "a truly good leader is not just generating noticeable, net benefits for his or her people, but is doing so in a moral fashion." Therefore, my framework and burden analysis can be extended.
I made five arguments: (a) Putin violates human rights and is thus not a morally good leader, (b) Putin's actions in Ukraine have hurt Russia's global image, (c) Russia has a massive income gap, (d) Putin's actions in Ukraine have hurt Russia economically, and (e) Russia's economy is structurally weak. In my rebuttals, I will be converting bullets that were previously letters to numbers (e.g. "b" will now be "2") so that I can use the letters to stand for the arguments as listed in this paragraph. I apologize for any confusion this may cause.
(a.1) My argument here was about how Putin is suppressing NGOs by forcing them to register as foreign agents and submit to various inspections and restrictions. Pro says that Putin doesn't kill his opponents, but I never claimed here that Putin was killing opponents. Pro never disputed that NGOs were being repressed because he attacks a strawman.  Thus, this argument is dropped. In other words, Pro goes off an irrelevant tangent that has nothing to do with what I said. But, even if Pro's argument was topical to what I said, it is still wrong. The evidence is not concrete, it's just a few people postulating what they think happened--it's opinion, not fact.
(a.2) I don't think LGBT rights is debatable. Even if LGBT marriage is debatable (and I don't think it is), having the freedom to express one's identity as LGBT should not be debatable. It goes against very significant free speech, assembly, press, and human dignity norms. There is a difference between being conservative and being someone willing to persecute and entire class of people. Putin is in the latter category. Moreover, he is not helping youth. Denying youth access to accurate information about LGBT issues will only increase homophobia, leave LGBT youth without resource to turn to, make LGBT youth feel unaccepted by society, and teach youth that it is okay to suppress unpopular speech.
(a.3) Protecting religion is not a human rights abuse, but curtailing free speech is. If I said, "Christianity is Stupid," I could, under Putin's law, be sentenced to 3 years in prison. That's just absurd. I should be free to express my opinions--people do not have a right not to be offended. If they did, then free speech would be practically meaningless. The goal of free speech rights is precisely to defend the rights of people to say things that others might find objectionable or wish to suppress. And, the 3 year jail sentences is excessive--it's cruel and unusual punishment.
(a.4) Frankly, it shouldn't matter if "there is no proof the 8 suspects are innocent." You cannot just abduct people because you suspect them. People have a right to due process of law, which those suspects were denied. Pro writes: "Putin...knows about when abuses are human rights abuses." So, that only makes the fact that these abuses are occurring even more unacceptable. Moreover, Pro never actually disputes that torture is increasing and that it is a human rights violation. Extend that. Finally, Putin should continue the work against terrorism, but that work cannot come at the price of widespread human rights abuses. It does no good to be safe from terrorist if one is not safe from their own government.
(a.5) Sure, Putin paid the funds, but that doesn't show any meaningful change in the way he governs. He did what was legally required of him without fixing the underlying issue: he fails to hold the guilty accountable. Putin is essentially applying a band-aid to a gangrenous wound. He is dressing it, but not fixing it. Besides, justice isn't solely about compensating the victims, it is also about punishing the wrongdoers.
(a.6) The article Pro cites only refers to gay people in Sochi during the Sochi Olympics. Because it is regionally- and time-limited, this article cannot refute (a.2). It also does not refute (a.6) because the evidence I provided was talking about more than just gay people, and issues besides LGBT rights. To restate the argument: "Authorities continued to intimidate and harass organizations, individuals, and journalists who criticized the local government in the Black Sea city of Sochi...Police detained on false charges at least one worker who tried to complain about exploitation. Local authorities failed to effectively investigate workers' complaints...The authorities are resettling more than 2,000 families to obtain land for Olympic venues and infrastructure. Not all of those evicted have received fair compensation. The authorities refuse to compensate or resettle other families whose properties have been severely damaged or altered by Olympic construction." My quote had nothing to do with LGBT issues, but that's all Pro talked about. Again, Pro engages in the strawman fallacy and goes off an irrelevant tangent that has nothing to do with what I said. Because Pro's points are non-responsive to mine, my point here is dropped. Extend it.
(b.1) My argument here was about Putin damaging Russia's reputation, and I backed this up with concrete statistics. Pro never disagrees that Russia's reputation and image have been hurt or with my stats. Instead, he goes off an irrelevant tangent that has nothing to do with what I said. He talks about Russia's economy, not Russia's image. The two are not the same. Again, another strawman fallacy. Because Pro's points are non-responsive to mine, my point here is dropped. Extend it.
(b.2) Pro writes: "Putin is actually winning in Ukraine, and there are reasons why," and then refers people to a link. Firstly, the is a blatant violation of DDO conventions. There is a character limit for a reason, and citing arguments in outside texts without posting those arguments into the round is a clear end-run around character limitation rules. This is a violation of conduct, and any points not directly given in the round should be discounted. Secondly, Pro admits that Putin invaded Ukraine, so all the harms regarding this that I discussed do apply to him. Thirdly, Putin may have acquired to very small regions of Ukraine, but he has pushed Ukraine closer to the West, brought NATO closer together than ever, trashed Russia's international reputation, and become a victim of sanctions. That's hardly a triumph for Russia or Putin.
(c) The link does not actually show how effective the anti-corruptions measures Putin took were. In fact, it acknowledges that their are loopholes in the law that can be exploited by corrupt officials. Also, the source Pro cites is 2 years older than mine. If it's been two years since Putin's reform and 90% of entrepreneurs still encounter corruption, Putin was not able to effectively combat corruption. QED. Finally, Pro only talks about corruption, but that was only half of my argument. Pro never disputes that Russia has a massive income gap--this argument is dropped. Extend it.
(d) The RussiaToday (RT) article that Pro cites at (b.1) is biased. RT is biased in favor of the Kremlin.  The Blaze article just discusses a recent China-Russia gas deal, a deal that is not all the significant:
"Eager to add fuel to the narrative of an emerging strategic relationship between Beijing and Moscow, commentators pronounced the deal as a game-changer...Yet, a look beyond the words of Russian gas executives...suggests that there is much more hype than substance here...What, in fact, did Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree to? The memorandum of understanding they signed differs in some significant ways from the previous, major gas deal inked in May. In that deal, Moscow and Beijing agreed on the terms to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia’s as-yet-undeveloped gas fields in eastern Siberia to the heavily populated eastern corridor of China. The new deal, in contrast, is not binding and lacks agreement on key elements, most notably price. The decade-long negotiations that preceded the May deal produced a handful of similar memorandums over the years, which became somewhat routine and merely suggestive of a continued intent to pursue the contours of a deal...Some might--wrongly--think it will be much easier for Gazprom and CNPC to agree on a price for the second pipeline, having just agreed on a price for the first one in May. Future negotiations, however, may prove even more difficult, given the recent dip in oil prices, which will drive down the cost of natural gas, since many gas contracts in Asia are indexed to the price of oil. Moreover, in the May deal, Russia...is believed to have accepted a price akin to what it gets for its gas in Europe -- and significantly less than it was hoping for, given the higher cost of gas in Asia. China will undoubtedly demand an even lower price for Russian gas coming in this second pipeline, which will enter China in its northwest, very far from population centers and in the heart of Xinjiang, China’s most restive region." 
(e) Again, the graph isn't in the text of the round, and so should not be assessed. But, even if you do assess it, just because the BRICS are doing well does not mean Russia is free of the structural problems I listed, which could haunt it down the road.
1 - http://tinyurl.com...
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REBUTTALS, DEFENDING MY CASE
"I think it's important to note that Pro never defined what good meant in his opening round. Any attempt to impose a definition retroactively is unfair to me"
Yes, it may be unfair to you, but this doesn`t change anything. Furthermore, because I started the debate, I get to the rules up, not con.
"I made five arguments"
You are quick to point out you have more quantity, however, You must also prove you have quality.
" My argument here was about how Putin is suppressing NGOs by forcing them to register as foreign agents and submit to various inspections and restrictions. "
Russia has the right to monitor people in their country who gets funding from abroad, just like every other country does.
"I would like to mention the numbers once again. Within four months after the relevant law has been enacted in Russia there has been -- and I want to draw your attention -- 28.3 billion rubles transferred into the accounts of NGOs from abroad," Putin said. "This is almost $1 billion. Just within four months. It cannot leave us indifferent. Our people are entitled to know where this money comes from and what it is used for." Says Putin. Putin is simply defending his country, not treating NGOS in a harsh way.
"In June 2013, parliament unanimously adopted a law banning promotion among children of 'propaganda of non traditional sexual relationships"
But can you prove this is bad? Putin is simply protecting gays, and the same source I used for my first argument says, Russia does not discriminate, Putin is simply protecting children. Putin said it should be "clear to everybody" that the rights of sexual minorities are not being violated in Russia, adding, "These people...Enjoy all the same rights and freedoms as everyone else."
source: same as above
" I don't think LGBT rights is debatable."
This is mere opinion, this time without your favorite use, bias. Also, "
Moreover, he is not helping youth. Denying youth access to accurate information about LGBT issues will only increase homophobia, leave LGBT youth without resource to turn to, make LGBT youth feel unaccepted by society, and teach youth that it is okay to suppress unpopular speech." It will not, as you don`t have a source telling you this. This is also irrelevant to the topic, We are debating about if Putin is doing the right thing, which he clearly did, and not your personal opinion on LGBT rights.
". If I said, "Christianity is Stupid," I could, under Putin's law, be sentenced to 3 years in prison. "
I disagree this is something bad. First of all, I really hope you won`t go out and tell the world, "Muslims are stupid" or anything like that, but Putin is only defending religion, he never used this in a offensive way. In fact, Putin vowed to "defend religion", meaning he is using power in a good way, protecting religion, not attacking disbelievers.
"You cannot just abduct people because you suspect them."
This is merely emotional blather. It`s better to defeat the terrorists now then later, even if innocent lives are at risk.
"Sure, Putin paid the funds, but that doesn't show any meaningful change in the way he governs."
Did anyone say he had to? No, one did. This is continuing emotional arguments. Putin, knows his governing style is the best, and he shouldn't`t be changing it.
"Besides, justice isn't solely about compensating the victims, it is also about punishing the wrongdoers."
More emotional arguments, without evidence and again, surprisingly , no bias. He didn`t need to pursue justice and bring down his entire country, he is benefiting the majority at expense of the few. (insert Obama joke here). Putin is not "dressing" his "wound", he is not infecting it. The doctor tells him to apply a band-aid, and he does. Did he have to do anything else? No, he did not.
(ALL of a.6)
Simply put, I have sources here and elsewhere, at all my rounds, That he is only protecting minors. Please read ALL my sources with attention, as I do to you, before refuting it on basis that this one source is not forever. This point is rebutted. Cut it. Also, face it. The sochi Olympics were a success.
"Even their policemen and soldiers, amid the gargantuan but rarely oppressive security operation, never stopped smiling. The hosts could even laugh at themselves, with glittery dancers at the closing ceremony forming the five rings, even re-enacting the failure of the opening ceremony a fortnight ago when a snowflake, which was supposed to turn into one of the rings, failed to open. Cue laughter all round. " says my article. Many people enjoyed and had a great time in the sochi Olympics.
" My argument here was about Putin damaging Russia's reputation, and I backed this up with concrete statistics. Pro never disagrees that Russia's reputation and image have been hurt or with my stats"
you mention sanction ever so often, in fact, your conduct goes down for lying, censoring, and bias. Point cannot be extended, cut it, and face it. Also, most WESTERN countries are against Russia, not the rest of the world.
"Putin may have acquired to very small regions of Ukraine"
One word. Crimea. My WHOLE point on how Russia got around sanctions is dropped. Argument extended.
"The link does not actually show how effective the anti-corruptions measures Putin took were. In fact, it acknowledges that their are loopholes in the law that can be exploited by corrupt officials. Also, the source Pro cites is 2 years older than mine. If it's been two years since Putin's reform and 90% of entrepreneurs still encounter corruption, Putin was not able to effectively combat corruption. QED. Finally, Pro only talks about corruption, but that was only half of my argument. Pro never disputes that Russia has a massive income gap--this argument is dropped. Extend it."
Again, more arguments looking at only some of my sources. The 11% of Russia`s entire population thinks fighting corruption is the best thing putin ever did.
Income gap- You said "Russia has" not "putin has". Most of income gap happened when Boris yeltsin went to power. This front of the debate? Cut it. Then, face it.
(d) The RussiaToday (RT) article that Pro cites at (b.1) is biased".
It`s Russian media, and it actually is more factual then many of YOUR sources. This article effectively explains Russia`s point of view, something more reliable then America`s, as we are debating about Putin in terms of the RUSSIAN perspective.
"The Blaze article just discusses a recent China-Russia gas deal, a deal that is not all the significant:"
It is significant, The export of new supplies to Asia increases the possibility of a glut on global energy markets by early next decade. Once deliveries begin, China would supplant Germany as Russia"s biggest gas market, even as relations have soured with the U.S. And Europe over the Ukraine crisis. If one article is too little, have a second one.
"Again, the graph isn't in the text of the round, and so should not be assessed. But, even if you do assess it, just because the BRICS are doing well does not mean Russia is free of the structural problems I listed, which could haunt it down the road."
No proof, no cut. All points extended. Since con never listed why it was bad with evidence, my argument, even without text, is extended. Extend it. Face it.
"and become a victim of sanctions"
Please stop dropping points, I clearly said putin avoided collapse of economy.
Thanks again to Pro. I will now rebut Pro's R3 remarks.
(a.1) Pro gives a variety of reasons why Bush's popularity fell, but the point here is that he was popular for a time even though there was no basis in logic for that popularity. Moreover, Pro never discusses the example of Yingluck Shinawtra, who is genuinely popular despite having instituted unsafe economic policies during her tenure as PM. The example was dropped. Extend it. And, even if you don't buy either example, that doesn't change the underlying reality that just because more people believe X, X is not necessarily true.
(a.2) Pro admits that Putin censors, and that he will no defend this censorship. Then, Pro asserts that Putin censors offensive things, like porn. But clearly, as my evidence shows, that is not the only thing he censors. Putin does quite a lot of "bad" censorship. To quote a different article: "Vladimir Putin seized control of the broadcast television networks that spanned the country’s many time zones and reached the largest audiences. In later years, he imposed his will on other news media, using intimidation and backroom pressure to make sure they did not step out of line...A few weeks ago, TV Dozhd, a progressive television and Internet channel that has reported courageously and honestly on events in Ukraine, was abruptly switched off by cable providers around the country. Now the purge is spreading. On Wednesday, Galina Timchenko, editor of the popular news site Lenta.ru, which has attracted millions of users, was summarily dismissed. Ms. Timchenko, who had worked at Lenta.ru since its founding a decade ago, was replaced by the former editor of a pro-Kremlin publication. The pretext was that she had posted a link to an interview with a Ukrainian ultranationalist figure. Hardly a firing offense in a free society." 
(a.3) Pro basically makes the argument that "there is no good information, so we should trust the best bad information." This sort of proves my point...That even the "good" polls are bad, just as the lesser of two evils is still evil. The polling numbers cannot be trusted.
(a.4) Yet again my opponent engages in a strawman fallacy. I never claimed Putin was killing the opposition. I claimed Putin was suppressing the opposition (which can be done in non-lethal ways). To say that Putin doesn't kill the opposition is not to show that he doesn't suppress the opposition. So, Pro doesn't actually rebut the substance of what I said. It's dropped. Extend it.
(a.5) Sure, this argument is correlation, not causation, but we shouldn't dismiss it out of hand. It is still a plausible alternative explanation for the polling data, and it's logical given the authoritarian nature of Russia's leadership. Plus, correlation may not prove causation, but it is often an indicator that two events are linked.
(a.6) Firstly, this doesn't disprove that Putin censors, it simply shows that Russian's are feeling real-life impacts of things that extend beyond censorship. It doesn't matter how much you censor if you're people are becoming significantly poorer, you're popularity's going to date a dip. In fact, you could say that the fact that this policy is unpopular is event more significant because it's unpopular despite censorship. But, the point of this argument is just that not all of Putin's policies are popular, so Pro can't justify everything Putin does with ad populum arguments.
(b.1.1) Pro literally cites the exact same source I did, which points out that Russia is the world's top exporter of various mineral products. However, just because Russia's is the world's top exporter of those products does not mean those products make up a significant portion of its economy. Oil still makes up 63.1% of Russia's exports. Oil and coal (both energy-sector products) make up 66% of its economy. That means that all the mineral products Pro talks about could only--at most, make up 34% of Russia's economy, and they likely make up a lot less, because Russia does have other industries. Iron, for instance, is only 1.5% of Russia's economy. So, my point stands. Russia's economy is based on oil (or on the energy sector more broadly). That's a monoculture, and it comes with all the risks I talked about earlier. It's an unstable economic foundation.
(b.1.2) Pro drops the points I made about the danger of essentially pegging the ruble to oil. Extend this point.
(b.2) Cross-apply my arguments here from last round.
(c.1) Pro drops that defense spending is closely linked to highly-variable oil prices, which undermines the military's budgetary stability. Extend this point. In fact: "for every $1 reduction from a barrel of oil, Russia loses $2.3 billion from its budget." 
(c.2) Pro never concedes that Putin's actions have jeopardized Russia's connections with international military partners. Russia may be able to replace Ukrainian arms, but it will take time to replace Ukrainian ICBM inspectors (that's a significant set back) and it lacks the technology to build the carriers France prevented it from getting. 
(c.3) Pro drops a lot of the arguments I made that Russia's airforce, navy, and Satan missiles are old and technologically not advanced. Pro instead claims Ukraine is an example of Russia's prowess. Firstly, that Russia is more advanced than a small East European state does not prove Russia is strong. Secondly, it is Russia's military that is involved there, so that doesn't rebut the arguments I made about the other parts of its armed forces.
(c.4) Actually, it's not accurate to say that Russia is 5,000 missiles ahead of us. In fact, they only have about 1,000 more than the U.S., and, when the rest of NATO is factored in, it's about tied.  I am actually unable to find any credible evidence that backs up the claim that Russia has significantly more Nukes than NATO.
Sidenote: Pro should not be permitted to introduce new arguments or rebut dropped points in R5, as this would be unfair to me. I would have no chance, or very little chance, to respond to those points. This is a standard convention of debate.
1 - http://www.washingtonpost.com...
2 - http://www.reuters.com...
3 - http://www.cnn.com...
4 - http://www.ibtimes.com...
Thank you con, for maybe one argument that sort of makes sense.
"Moreover, Pro never discusses the example of Yingluck Shinawtra, who is genuinely popular despite having instituted unsafe economic policies during her tenure as PM."
You`re sidetracking. The main point was that Putin was popular, you say that "well two leaders were popular and bad, therefore Putin is bad". To continue, My source says JFK was the most popular U.S. president, and JFK was very succesful. Also, in democracy, popularity means sucess, that`s the main basis of how it works. Therefore, Putin means sucess. Extend all points made by me, cut all made by con.
"But clearly, as my evidence shows, that is not the only thing he censors. Putin does quite a lot of "bad" censorship"
But what does he censor the most? Drugs, gays, and porn. Furthermore, my entire point on how Putin is popular is dropped since round 1. Extend it.
"That even the "good" polls are bad, just as the lesser of two evils is still evil. The polling numbers cannot be trusted."
Well, do you have a better solution? See, the most accurate method says Putin is a good leader, Threfore, he is a good leader.
") Yet again my opponent engages in a strawman fallacy. I never claimed Putin was killing the opposition. I claimed Putin was suppressing the opposition (which can be done in non-lethal ways).
Acutally, most of the critics against his so-called "opposition killing" say he kills them, not otherwise. Also, this is an ad-mominum attack.
"pro literally cites the exact same source I did, which points out that Russia is the world's top exporter of various mineral products."
I just interpeted it differently with math.
(b.1.2 and b2)
I didn`t drop the point, cut it. then, face it. Also, cross-apply my arguments.
" Pro drops that defense spending is closely linked to highly-variable oil prices, which undermines the military's budgetary stability. Extend this point. In fact: "for every $1 reduction from a barrel of oil, Russia loses $2.3 billion from its budget."
So since right now russia sells oil for a $100 a barell, it`s budget is 2300 billion dollars? No. it is not
"Pro never concedes that Putin's actions have jeopardized Russia's connections with international military partners. Russia may be able to replace Ukrainian arms, but it will take time to replace Ukrainian ICBM inspectors (that's a significant set back) and it lacks
the technology to build the carriers France prevented it from getting"
I don`t see how significant this is.
"Pro drops a lot of the arguments I made that Russia's airforce, navy, and Satan missiles are old and technologically not advanced. Pro instead claims Ukraine is an example of Russia's prowess."
Oh, please. I said Putin deployed modren weapons in ukraine, proving he has modren weapons. His missiles are not outdated, read my sources.
"Actually, it's not accurate to say that Russia is 5,000 missiles ahead of us. In fact, they only have about 1,000 more than the U.S., and, when the rest of NATO is factored in, it's about tied.  I am actually unable to find any credible evidence that backs up the claim that Russia has significantly more Nukes than NATO."
I found evidence he does. I also find the use of "only" too little. 1,000 nukes is enough to wipe nearly every major city the U.S.A ever has out. Also, if you factor in NATO nukes, I should be able to factor in China`s and India`s nukes.
Also, i disagree with the sidenote. However, you can defend your case as well in round 5. I would recomend not introducing your arguments on that round though.
Thank you for this debate con, even though you are of many more ELO points then me. Also, my point on the war on drugs has been dropped since the last round. Voters, please take that into account. Although I cannot tell you who to vote for, you know who it is. Will you belive in the american propoganda my oppoment tries to pass of to you? Or. . . Will you belive the credible and humble arguments i have educated on you?
Thanks to greatkitteh for this debate. Now, I will address Pro's R4 comments, and then provide a synopsis of the round with a focus as to why you should vote Con.
Pro cannot just set up the rules after R1 and apply them retroactively. Con needs to have a chance to win, and if instigators were allowed to retroactively define terms, they could always define contenders out of the round. The contender could make a case based on interpretation X, and the instigator could always say that interpretation X isn't in the rules or is the wrong definition, so we have to go with Y, thereby invalidating everything the contender said. Pro even concedes that this tactic is unfair, noting: "it may be unfair to [Con], but this doesn't change anything." Clearly, the purpose of debate is to have a competitive exchange of views, and Pro's idea that he can retroactively determine what words mean to suit his purpose obliterates the competitive nature of debate. It's not merely unfair, it's against everything debate stands for, and so should be disregarded. Given this, my interpretation of the burdens should be allowed to stand.
My noting that I made 5 arguments was not an attempt to show that I had more arguments, but merely to provide an outline for the reader and my opponent. He misunderstands the point of what I did.
(a.1) Pro finally makes an argument relevant to my original point about NGOs, the problem is that he already dropped the point and so it's a new argument. He never disagrees that his initial claim was a strawman. That being said, the numbers Pro offers about foreign funds are supplied by Putin himself, who is hardly a credible source. Obviously, Putin has an interest in justifying his actions, and so it is possible--if not likely--that the numbers Putin gave were fudged. There is zero reason to trust that data. Additionally, Putin offers no evidence that the NGOs being funded are acting against Russia's interests, just that they receive foreign funds. Given this, accepting a few foreign funds (which may only be a fraction of an NGO's total budget) hardly qualifies them as "foreign agents." It's blatant mis-labeling designed to smear the NGOs and to suppress their ability to operate effectively. And even if the funds themselves were worthy of inspection and monitoring, subjecting NGOs to invasive, intimidating raids just because they accept foreign money (which is not probable cause) is unjust.
(a.2) Pro says that Putin is simply protecting the gays, and questions me to prove it is bad. Firstly, as I said earlier, the laws, "goes against very significant free speech, assembly, press, and human dignity norms." Secondly, "[d]enying youth access to accurate information about LGBT issues will only increase homophobia, leave LGBT youth without resource to turn to, make LGBT youth feel unaccepted by society, and teach youth that it is okay to suppress unpopular speech." And, I don't need a source to confirm what simple logic tells me, despite what Pro may say. But, if sources are necessary to back up every logical claim (which is a ridiculous assertion), there is even evidence to suggest that the law, by explicitly otherizing gays, has emboldened people to engage in homophobic episodes.  Such episodes are on the rise.
(a.3) The idea that Putin is "defending religion" means that he is attacking disbelievers who express their disbelief. I have every right to say, "Christianity is stupid," and not be imprisoned for 3 years. First, that punishment is excessive and cruel. Second, it violates my right to free speech. Remember something Pro did not disagree with: "[t]he goal of free speech rights is precisely to defend the rights of people to say things that others might find objectionable or wish to suppress."
(a.4) Frankly, I am a bit shocked that Pro dismisses the point that everyone is entitled to due process of law (including during arrests) as "emotional blather." This is just a common-knowledge claim: you cannot randomly abduct people without going through established legal mechanisms. If I need to prove this claim (which I shouldn't need to since it's just obvious), I can cite the ICCPR which gives all people a right to due process of law and to which Russia is a party and the Russian Constitution which guarantees a person "judicial protection of his rights and freedoms." [2, 3]
(a.5) Pro again accuses me of being emotional and failing to provide evidence. Pro needs only reference the original link I cited in R1 for evidence. And, I don't really see how I am being emotional. Regardless, saying that Putin's governing style is the best begs the question of the debate, and is clearly untrue when it involves widespread disregard for human rights. Putin should not merely be implementing the rulings of courts, he should be upholding the law, and that includes prosecuting offenders and not maintaining mechanisms of impunity. Pro says that pursuing justice would bring down the entire country, but provides zero evidence or analysis to support this claim. Ultimately, a "good" leader is also a "just" leader, and Putin has failed to uphold justice in any meaningful way here.
(a.6) Pro again attacks a strawman, repeating his irrelevant point about LGTB rights (which has nothing to do with the argument I presented here) and making a new but equally tangential argument about the security operation during the Olympics. My evidence described human rights abuses that occurred BEFORE the Olympics began, in preparation for the event. Saying that there were no abuses during the Olympics does not disprove that egregious abuses occurred before the Olympics. Furthermore, my evidence discussed abuses towards locals, not foreigners or people attending the event. The article Pro cites talks about the latter, not the former. Thus, Pro has entirely missed the point of the argument yet again--his arguments are totally non-responsive to mine--and so you can extend my points. They were dropped.
(b.1) Pro doesn't really rebut this except to mention a strawman about sanctions, which doesn't really address the point about Russia's popularity. Also, Pro doesn't give much attention to the statistics I offered. Even if Western nations are against Russia, which seems to be a rather paranoid claim, the fact is that in those countries, opinions of Russia have gotten significantly worse (see R1 evidence). So, the claim that Putin damaged Russia's reputation is still accurate. Plus, the survey did not just cover Western Nations; it covered regions from across the world:
(b.2) Pro says: "One word. Crimea. My WHOLE point on how Russia got around sanctions is dropped." Pro never explains why that one word magically obviates my points on the sanctions. Without warranting the claim, the claim is just a bare assertion fallacy.  Plus, Pro drops that Putin's actions in Ukraine have "pushed Ukraine closer to the West, brought NATO closer together than ever, trashed Russia's international reputation." None of those things are good for Russia.
(c) Pro says that 11% of Russia thinks that fighting corruption was the best thing Putin ever did. It's just another ad populum fallacy from Pro, and 11% is a pretty small number regardless. Pro drops that corruption levels are still sky-high AFTER Putin supposedly implemented anti-corruption programs. Obviously, those programs are not doing much to actually curb the problem. Extend my arguments.
And sure, Russia has the income gap problem, but it's only gotten worse under Putin, and he's done little to stop it. Pro claims--without offering any corroborating evidence--that the income gap was Boris Yeltsin's fault. Yet, in 2000, there were no billionaires in Russia, while in 2010, there were 101.  According to my original source (see R1), billionaires control 1/5th of the wealth, which heavily contributes to income inequality. Since Putin took office in 2000, it seems like the evidence actually points to him being at fault for the income gap. Extend my point.
(d) RussiaToday (RT) is completely biased. Pro offers no reason to accept its credibility accept that it explains the Russia perspective. But, in reality, it only explains the perspective of the Kremlin, not of Russia as a whole.  Its own news reporters have quite over biased conditions at RT  and it is heavily state-sponsored, as my earlier source notes. As for the Russo-Chinese gas deal, Pro doesn't contest that Russia would likely be selling the gas cheaply (thereby earning reduce revenue) and that it may take Russia up to a decade to negotiate and finalize the deal. That doesn't help Russia now. Russia needs immediate relief from sanctions that it isn't going to get from this deal at all. And, even when relief comes, it will be paltry.
(e) Pro tries to extend an argument without any admissible evidence supporting it. That's just ridiculous, and the argument should be afforded any credence. But, the argument Pro is attempting to extend is still wrong. I presented evidence at several points in this debate confirming the structural problems in Russia's economy. These structural problems, like monocultures, may not manifest immediately, but they are still there and threaten the stability of the economy down the road. Pro simply cannot summarily dismiss them without any analysis.
Pro's arguments have been characterized by an absence of analysis, fallacious arguments, and desperate attempts to claim that I lacked evidence, was emotional, or to dismiss my rebuttals for no good reason. The facts are facts: Russia's economy is fundamentally weak, and that jeopardizes its military stability as well. Putin has tarnished Russia's reputation and ignored human rights. Putin is not a good leader. Thanks! Vote Con!
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's S&G was abysmal, with multiple grammatical errors and lack of punctuation. Pro frequently fails to capitalize "Putin" and "Russia", and often adds useless periods. "there is no proof the 8 suspects are innocent either" -- "there" is not capitalized. "I clearly stated if he was good for Russia, meaning was he a benefit to Russia" -- this is entirely incoherent, "if he was good for russia, meaning was he" -- grammatically incorrect. These frequently incoherent statements and lack of capitalization give Con S&G. Pro also fails to adequately address Con's arguments on Putin being responsible for lack of LGBT rights (which Pro weakly defends as "him being a conservative"), and torture ("there is no proof the 8 people were innocent" -- fallacy of negative proof). Pro didn't defend Putin against all the human rights violations pointed by Con. The economic policy problems and such are not addressed properly by Pro either. Thus, args and S&G to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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