Putin’s Re-Election in Russia Is the Latest Chapter in the Autocrat’s Playbook

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an election rally near the Kremlin, Moscow, March 18, 2018 (AP photo by Denis Tyrin).
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an election rally near the Kremlin, Moscow, March 18, 2018 (AP photo by Denis Tyrin).
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When Vladimir Putin won a landslide victory to a fourth term as Russia’s president on Sunday, it came as a surprise to no one. Still, his re-election was noteworthy for many reasons, including how apparent it is that as democracy loses ground around the world, Putin embodies the model for the 21st-century descent into authoritarianism—a model that is being emulated by other aspiring autocrats. That Putin’s re-election has repercussions far beyond Russia was evident in the headlines that dominated the news in the days leading up to the vote. A former Russian spy and his daughter were found slumped on […]

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