It’s a tough question, with various layers, and might make Putin himself pause. Here’s an attempt at an answer.
Putin wants to win; he wants victory. So how he would he define victory? First, he must be able to rule securely till 2024, as a constitutional amendment he enacted allows. Securing that outcome means ensuring that key supporters are able to preserve something resembling their present privileges of power, wealth and status.
That in turn requires that the Russian people continue passively to accept his rule and whatever role in politics he gives them. At present that amounts to endorsing him …read more