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每日英語跟讀 Ep.823: How Powerful Is Vladimir Putin Really? 俄總統普亭 究竟握有多大權力?

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.823: How Powerful Is Vladimir Putin Really?

After 19 months in a Russian jail awaiting trial for “extremism,” Dennis O. Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness from Denmark detained for his faith, received an unexpected lift from President Vladimir Putin at the end of last year.

「耶和華見證人」丹麥籍成員丹尼斯.克里斯坦森因為信仰被拘留,在俄羅斯監獄待了19個月等候以「激進主義」罪名受審,去年年底意外獲得來自總統普亭的幫助。

The president, speaking in the Kremlin in December, declared that prosecuting people for their religious affiliations was “a total nonsense” and had to stop.

普亭去年12月在克里姆林宮發表談話,宣稱因民眾的宗教歸屬而起訴他們「荒謬透頂」,必須停止。

But instead of curbing a campaign across Russia against Jehovah’s Witnesses, Putin’s remark has been followed by more arrests; a conviction and six-year prison sentence for Christensen; and, in a new low, reports late last month of the torture of believers detained in Siberia.

但是,在普亭發表談話後,俄國非但沒有停止打擊耶和華見證人的活動,隨之而來的卻是更多的逮捕,克里斯坦森被定罪、判處六年徒刑。而且,上個月底更進而傳出拘留在西伯利亞的信徒遭受酷刑的消息。

The gulf between what Putin says and what happens in Russia raises a fundamental question about the nature of his rule after more than 18 years at the pinnacle of an authoritarian system: Is Putin really the omnipotent leader whom his critics attack and his own propagandists promote?

普亭在威權體制下擔任最高領導人已超過18年,而前述普亭所言和俄國現狀之間呈現的落差,引出了關乎他統治的一個基本問題:普亭果真如批評者所指斥、黨羽所吹捧般,是個無所不能的領導人?

Or does he sit atop a state that is, in fact, shockingly ramshackle, a system driven more by the capricious and often venal calculations of competing bureaucracies and interest groups than by Kremlin diktats?

或者,他位居頂峰的這個國家,其實已組織鬆散,搖搖欲墜到令人震驚的程度,驅動這個體系的主要力量,是彼此爭競的官僚與利益團體反覆無常且謀奪金錢的算計,而不是出自克里姆林宮的命令?

The belief, widespread among critics of President Donald Trump, that Russia propelled him to the White House by colluding with his campaign is premised in part on the first view of Putin’s capacities and reach. The Mueller report, if ever released to the public, may help Americans better understand how Russia does or doesn’t work in reality.

有種說法在美國總統川普的批評者間廣為流傳,認為俄羅斯透過和川普競選陣營共謀,幫忙把他送入了白宮,而這種說法的部分前提,則是普亭的能力及勢力範圍合乎本文前段所述的第一種假設(無所不能)。如果穆勒報告有朝一日公諸於大眾,或可幫助美國人更加了解俄國實際上如何運作。

But to some of Putin’s fellow citizens, the Russian president’s grip looks less firm than often imagined.

但是對一些普亭的公民同胞而言,這位俄國總統對權力的掌控看起來不若通常以為的堅實。

Ekaterina Schulmann is a political scientist in Moscow and a member of Putin’s Council for Civil Society and Human Rights who challenged the president over the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the December meeting in the Kremlin. She said Putin’s grip on the country had been vastly exaggerated by both supporters and opponents.

莫斯科政治學家艾卡特莉娜.修曼是普亭的公民社會及人權理事會成員,她在去年12月的克里姆林宮會議中,針對起訴耶和華見證人成員案質疑總統。她說,普亭掌控國家的力道,同時被支持者和反對陣營高度誇大了。

“This is not a personally run empire but a huge and difficult-to-manage bureaucratic machine with its own internal rules and principles,” she said. “It happens time and again that the president says something, and then nothing or the opposite happens.”

「這並非個人統治的帝國,而是個巨大且管理困難的官僚機器,有著自己的內部規定和原則。」她說,「總統說了件事,結果什麼也沒發生,或是竟反其道而行,這是常有的事。」

A plethora of bureaucratic and political forces both reinforce and sap the president’s power: the security services, the Russian Orthodox Church, billionaire oligarchs, local officials and others, each with its own sometimes competing and sometimes overlapping interests. Putin has to manage them as best he can, but he doesn’t control everything they each do.

過度的官僚和政治力量,既加強也榨取了總統的權力:像是安全機構,俄羅斯東正教會,億萬富豪寡頭政客,地方官員等等,彼此間各有時而競爭,時而重疊的利益。普亭必須盡他所能管理這些勢力,但是他無法控制各方所做的每一件事。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/339151/web/

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