Putin’s Ancien Régime
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After 20 years with Vladimir Putin in power, Putin’s Russia is becoming an ancien régime. The gap between Russia’s aspirations for a significant global role, and its ability and capacity to sustain such a role (always a challenge for Russia’ rulers), is now growing. Putin has not learned from history and from his predecessors. Russia continues to try to punch above its weight, with attempts to destabilize by creating new geopolitical “realities,” as in the case of Crimea. At home, the population is dissatisfied, and the regime is under pressure to come up with new solutions to old problems.