Run for the Roses

Vladimir Putin mounted a lethally effective campaign for the presidency of Russia. But does he have a plan to remake the nation?

Vladimir Putin is a man possessed. He wants to rebuild a strong Russia with a powerful presidency and a flourishing economy. He is determined to crush separatism in Chechnya or anywhere else within Russia's borders. But first and foremost, he wants to end a decade of deep Russian despair. These are dramatic and ambitious goals but they are not new. Since Peter the Great, Russia's leaders have come to power dreaming of sweeping reforms. Most have ended up disappointed, thwarted by the country's unwieldiness and its bureaucrats' subtle sabotage. Despite Putin's refusal to offer explicit policies and his aides' admission that...

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