Recently, we received a Letter to the Editor regarding our editorial “Punish Russia, Not Russians.” The contents of the letter were such, "Are Russians not responsible for policies and acts of war their country encounter on others? All of Russia must pay for what their leaders do! Was Germany not responsible for Hitler? The people of Russia will have to demand different from their leaders if they want to be part of the remaining civilized world! Sorry Russian citizens, change leadership and government or live with it."
While these statements are true to an extent, there is much to be considered in the case of Russia. The country is not an actual democracy and hasn't been one, especially after President Putin came to power. The Russian government can best be described as a "managed democracy," wherein the basic procedures of democracy are followed, but the outcomes of such processes, like elections, are predetermined.