Striding through the Kremlin’s gold-encrusted doors and applauded by the modern nobility, Vladimir Putin returns to the Russian presidency Monday in the throne room of the czars, now a dangerously weakened autocrat.
The protests of December have shaken his all-powerful countenance, setting off machinations by the powers behind him who are intent on preserving their authority and privilege despite demands for democracy and reform. That conflict portends difficult and uncertain days for Russia, with Putin pressured to display more muscle than compromise.
”œPutin needs to be strong,” said Vladimir Pastukhov, a Russian political scientist and visiting fellow at Oxford, ”œotherwise there will be 12,000 knives to his back the next day.”
Putin has ruled Russia since 2000, the last four years as prime minister, and until December the nation had traded the unpredictability of democracy for the certainty of a strong hand.
This article seems more like wishful thinking than reporting