(FIIA) Russia’s re-elected president speaks about the need to achieve a “breakthrough”. But his only realistic goal is perpetuation of the regime.
Those who watched Vladimir Putin’s inauguration ceremony on May 7 must have paid attention to the TV cameras’ preoccupation with two people on the front row: Dmitry Medvedev, the longest-serving Prime Minister of post-Soviet Russia, and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The first figure symbolized the loyalty of Russia’s power vertical and the country at large to Putin. The second was there to demonstrate that the relationship with the West is still manageable.
Arguably, this is exactly how the situation appears to Putin and his entourage. [...]
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