How would you measure relative power though? I see some people being scared of him.
I see some people loathing him openly (in a society where the government CAN make you disappear).
And I see a small group of particularly nasty people supporting him.
I see no legacy for Mr. Putin, other than the fact that he reunited Russia following its horrible experiment with liberalism and their interpretation of Western Democracy. He blew his chances to be considered a virtual political saint in Russia, when he ran for the third term. In that instant, he went from a wise leader of Russia who knows Russia, to just another in a very long line of brutal and repressive leaders who offered no consideration to the benefit of the citizens who compose their society.
I wrote a policy piece for Russia when I was a sophomore in college. It was meant to extend for the next 10 years, and be no more than 20 pages.
I suggested that Russia take the money it had produced from natural gas and oil production, invest it in the production of infrastructure, raw materials and industry, such that it could export its goods to the former Soviet blocs, while paying their workers well enough that they could afford the goods that they manufactured. Would have made Russia a self-sufficient economic powerhouse that would have been able to provide for the people, protect the environment and assert itself in its regional bloc, at the very least, around the world, at the very most.
Putin has the know how as to how to do this, and, if he chose, the will to do it.
But, alas, he’s chosen to struggle against his people, sapping them of their energy and resources. He spends everything on military technology that’s not needed, and doesn’t add any military or social benefit to the Russian society. He plays the cool “Playboy Dictator”.
But, no one will remember his legacy when he’s dead.
No one will care.
And some of Russia’s best people will celebrate his death.
What good is this relative power now, if you lose it on this plane of existence through your exercise of it?
Where will Putin’s “power” be after he’s dead?
And, quite frankly, where is it now, in this day’n age?
Nobody loves him.
Fewer and fewer like him.
And he’ll just burn out, as he ages or gets usurped or dies.
And the dictator dies.
Think about it.
Something to Meditate On