The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin

by Steven Lee Myers,
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 1, 2015

Not long after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent and an aide to the mayor of St. Petersburg, portrayed himself as a democrat. He warned, however, that a turn toward totalitarianism was possible. The danger lay “in the mentality of our people,” Putin claimed. “It seems to all of us — and I will admit, to me sometimes as well — that by imposing strict order with an iron fist, we will all begin to live better, more comfortably, more securely. In actual fact … that iron fist would very quickly begin to strangle us.”

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