From our respected colleagues at RFE/RL:
Putin the chest-thumping and siloviki-loving tough guy could be on his way out. And a kinder and gentler Vladimir the Wise might be on the way in.
“Putin’s political advisers have decided to abandon the macho image in favor of that of a wise patriarch,” the daily “Nezavisimaya gazeta” writes, citing a Kremlin strategy paper.
According to the report, Putin will also seek to “reassure the population” that has become increasingly less confident in his rule by moving closer to the liberal faction of the elite and beginning to curb the powers of the siloviki. But given the amount of power Putin has granted the security services over the years, “it will be difficult to do so without damage.”
Wait a second, didn’t they already try that?