[Russia] rotting behind the strong facadeFrom: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dictator's Handbook
Mar 05 2018 21:42:27
If Xi Jinping is the world’s most powerful man, conventional wisdom
puts Vladimir Putin a close second. He’s made his own bare-chested
virility synonymous with a resurgent Russia. Mr. Putin seems to be
playing on every chessboard, from what Russia calls its “near abroad”
to the Middle East, from Europe to America.
When it comes to sowing doubt about democracy and fueling dissension
among Americans, Mr. Putin is eating our lunch. And Russia retains the
world’s largest nuclear arsenal, with new weapons in the works that Mr.
Putin saw fit to brag about during last week’s state of the nation
speech — even if his rhetoric far outpaced their technical reality.
But elsewhere, Russia’s adventurism is feeding a growing, gnawing case
of indigestion. And it masks a deep-set rot in Russia itself. Mr. Putin
is a masterful painter of facades. But his Russian village looks
increasingly less Putin and increasingly more Potemkin.
Let’s start with Syria.