The Fear Factor: Putin's Political Legacy

Yes, the Putin era was good for most Russians. But it could have been better. Russia's presidential vote on March 2 will be the least competitive election in Russia's post-Soviet history. The tragedy of the Putin era is that none of these autocratic reforms were needed to sustain economic growth, political stability or the president's popularity. In fact, more democracy - that is, an independent court system, real opposition parties and a robust independent media - would have helped to fight corruption, protect property and spur more growth