Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vladimir Putin and the third Russian empire

Vladimir Putin is facing an unfamiliar problem. After 13 years at the helm, he no longer has the job of saving the largest country on the planet. That file is closed. Because of Putin’s astute diplomacy and America’s Middle East misadventures, Western attempts to put Russia in a box have fizzled out. Emergent Russia is, therefore, no longer threatened by a terminally declining West.

On May 7 when Putin walks into his Kremlin office to serve a third term as President, the pomp and pageantry of the ceremonies will not conceal the fact that the Russian leader is treading on tricky terrain. That’s because now he has to perform the distinctly mundane – and complex – task of making Russia tick.

Putin will find that photos of him fishing bare-chested or tranquilising Siberian tigers won’t fetch any mileage with Russian voters. US President Barack Obama has discovered it in the last few months of his first term, and soon the Russian leader will also stumble upon the inescapable reality of democracy – the honeymoon never lasts. Read More