Below is a security camera recording of the beating of Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin. Kashin is currently in an induced coma after the injuries sustained in the video below. Due to the publicity surrounding this case, I think it will become an internationally-watched test of the Kremlin’s ability to address the latent brutishness that lurks in Russian culture. Surely they do not expect to attract foreign investment or to host international events like the World Cup or Olympics if this is what comes to mind when one thinks of Russia. The contrast between President Medvedev talking about nanotechnology one day and a journalist’s fingers being smashed off (literally) the next day is striking. Does Russia really expect to foster the sort of intellectual freedom necessary for modern innovation if a journalist suffers such an attack for what can only be considered mild criticism of some Potemkin youth movement? Indeed, the Kashin beating is such a perfect encapsulation of Russia’s many failings, that if the authorities fail to bring those responsible to justice it will be an accurate barometer of their ability to rectify those other problems.