Putin presents himself as Russia's defender against external and internal threats, but this narrative is scrutinized for being embellished and unrealistic.

Putin's rule diminishes democracy through fear and favor, stifling dissent and sidelining healthy political discourse.

Putin's leadership contributes to a culture celebrating xenophobia, nativism, and violence, eroding societal values.

Putin's misguided military intervention in Ukraine exposes vulnerabilities in his power structure, challenging his image of invincibility.

Putin's ascent began in 1999 when he took over the Russian Security Council, followed by prime ministership and presidency, securing his position.

Putin leverages a promise of stability during the 2000 election, focusing on economic reforms and industry control to restore order.

Putin's economic strategy relies on energy revenues, reclaiming control over oil and gas industries to consolidate his authority.

Wealth disparity remains a challenge, concentrated among elites, while marginal life expectancy gains are offset by structural issues.

Putin's foreign policy actions, like the Ukraine invasion, result in unintended consequences, strained international relations, and potential isolation.

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