Dec 19, 2006

The Putin Puzzle Revisited

Putin’s presidency is constitutionally mandated to end in 2008, when new elections will be held. But who is Putin’s Putin? He succeeded Boris Yeltsin by promising that, whatever purges he might carry out, Yeltsin and his family would be shielded. Yeltsin was old, ill and alcoholic, and Putin’s offer must have seemed one he couldn’t refuse. Putin is young and vigorous, and has no reason to put his fate in the hands of a successor or successors who wouldn’t be able to guarantee his lifelong immunity even if they wanted.

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