Vladimir Putin has been ruling Russia since 1999. In that time he has shaped the country into an authoritarian and militaristic society. The Soviet Union dissolved into 15 new countries, including the new Russian Federation.
image/text credit: Vox
In Putin’s eyes, Russia had just lost 2 million square miles of territory. But Putin’s regime has also developed and fostered the most effect cyber hacker army in the world and he’s used it to wreak havoc in the West.
But the election of Donald Trump brings new hope for the Putin vision. Trump’s rhetoric has been notably soft on Russia. He could lift sanctions and weaken NATO, potentially freeing up space for Putin’s Russia to become a dominant power once again.
What does Putin want? Is he trying to restore the Soviet empire? Is it all about the oil and maximizing Russia’s position as a petro-power? Perhaps he’s never stopped being a K.G.B. man, paranoid about “foreign agents” and with a Cold War wariness about the power of the United States?