Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
An alternate take: Putin's (mob) faction triumphed and consolidated power. Putin came up through the KGB, retired in 1990 and, under Yeltsin, became Director of the KGB and then President. With the KGB at his disposal Putin had more power than any of the oligarch that sprang up under Yeltsin and has taken down or suborned most of them.

In most ways Putin has followed in the tradition of strong Tsars and their Communist successors, expanding and consolidating state power. Since Putin is in control of the state it is in his interest for the state to be strong and for Russia to be strong.

Putin's Achilles Heal has been the Russian Economy. Most of Russia's industry derived from the USSR and retains most of the features of a command/control economy. And too many of the 'market oriented' new companies that arose were in reality glorified vulture capitalist companies run primarily in the interest of enriching the CEO. Putin has taken down or forced into exile most of those. It turns out that establishing functioning markets is not a trivial exercise.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 15th, 2020 at 01:17:41 AM EST
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