Thursday, February 24, 2022

One Man Rule

 When all is said and done, this is the house that Vladimir Putin has built. Today's Russia is not the Russia of Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhayl Gorbachev, Boris Yel'tsin, or even Dmitriy Medvedev. It is the Russia of Vladimir Putin, built in his own image, subject to his will and whim, to his penchant for "manual control." When the new prime minister of a Central Asian state paid his first visit to Moscow, he met with Putin, and after the cameras left the room, Putin is said to have loosened his tie, leaned forward, and in a menacing snarl told the startled leader, "Listen here (slushay syuda), I decide everything. Don't forget it." If he is willing to say this to the leader of a sovereign country, what does he say, and do, to his own Russian rivals? This is a man who thinks in zero-sum terms - your loss is his gain. Period. 

- From Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? by Karen Dawisha

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