Vladimir Putin: His Continuing Legacy

When Putin became president at the beginning of the 21st century, Russia was in shambles. Putin saw his task to be two fold. First, to recreate the Russian state – that had been seriously weakened by Boris Yeltsin. Second, he set out to reestablish Russia as an important international actor. His approach to dealing with those two tasks was heavily influenced by his approach to dealing with political problems. He is determined, but non ideological. He believes that Russia is unique and that only "Russian" solutions will resolve the country’s problems. Most of all, Putin sees himself as a "problem solver," something that comes from his years in the KGB. And while much remains to be done, he did a lot to solve Russia’s problems. The power of the state has been restored, and Russia is taken far more seriously on the international stage than it was in 2000. What is amazing, given all of the criticism he has received in the West for his "undemocratic" actions, his standings in the polls for the eight years he was in office remained above 70%, something a Western politician can only dream of
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