Putin is Here to Stay, and the Russian State Will Die with Him

Vladimir Putin arose to power in Russia when he was 47 years old.  He is now 66.  Putin's first two terms in office were generally successful: he presided over an expansion of the Russian economy; the military was modernized; and he even – more controversially – had successes in Russia's longstanding conflict with Chechen rebels and with NATO observing member Georgia.  All of these actions, taken together, made Putin a popular leader among the Russian electorate.  He was, to play on a popular phrase, making Russia great again after the chaotic decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, in the immortal words of The Dark Knight's Harvey Dent, "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."  This is precisely what has transpired in Russia today (though, in this case, the term "hero" when describing Vladimir Putin is entirely...(Read Full Article)

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