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You're reading: Russia’s ‘sultan’ Putin

That’s because President Dmitri Medvedev‘s announcement last weekend that he would step aside next March to allow Vladimir Putin to return to the Kremlin was also an announcement that the ruling clique failed to institutionalize its grip over the country.

We have known since 1996 that Russia wasn’t a democracy. We now know that Russia isn’t a dictatorship controlled by one party, one priesthood, or one dynasty. It is a regime ruled by one man.

"The party doesn’t exist," said one of Russia‘s leading independent economists. "The politics is all about one person."

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