How Russia’s Putin Is Planning for Permanent Power After His Presidency

How Russia’s Putin Is Planning for Permanent Power After His Presidency
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the State Council in Moscow, Jan. 15, 2020 (pool photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko of AP).

MOSCOW—Svetlana Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin’s daughter, recalled in her memoir that before the tyrant drew his final breath, he cast a menacing glance at the confidantes and relatives gathered around him, then raised his arm as if to point to something or threaten someone. He may have been attempting to articulate his final request or even designate a successor, but no one ever decoded the gesture. Stalin left no formal plans for succession despite having ruled the Soviet Union for three decades. After his death, three senior officials—Nikita Khrushchev, Georgy Malenkov and Lavrenty Beria—quickly entered into a fierce power struggle to […]

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