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What legacy will Vladimir Putin leave Russia?

Well, listen up now. Whether it's new weapons, threatening nuclear war, or illegally invading sovereign states, Putin has a habit of seeking attention. In fact, it's been his most predictable strategic reflex.

December 06, 2022 / 12:04 PM IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (File image)

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (File image)

Nobody listened to Russia, Vladimir Putin intoned in 2018, as he unveiled the poisonous fruit of Russia's military modernisation project: a nuclear-powered cruise missile; a hypersonic glider; and a nuclear warhead atop a drone submarine, designed to flood coastal cities with tsunamis.

Well, listen up now. Whether it's new weapons, threatening nuclear war, or illegally invading sovereign states, Putin has a habit of seeking attention. In fact, it's been his most predictable strategic reflex.

Combining a thirst for great power status with a primitive nativism that has crossed over into xenophobia, Putin has consistently sought to compel others to respect Russia, though having them fear it will also apparently do.

But what sort of Russia will Putin leave behind for the millions of citizens at whose expense he has enriched himself, both personally and politically? As his disastrous war in Ukraine demonstrates, Putin's achievements embody anything but greatness.