TIME

What does Vladimir Putin fear? His own people

VLADIMIR PUTIN APPEARS TO STRIDE THE GLOBE like a political goliath, a mix of Peter the Great and Joseph Stalin. Whether in Syria or Ukraine, the Russian President flexes his muscles and the world seems to quake with anxiety. There is now little doubt that Putin has skillfully maneuvered Russia back into a position of global prominence following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which he has called the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” He poured billions of dollars into modernizing his military machine and plunged

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