Nine Years of Putinism

On this day nine years ago, Vladimir Putin was sworn into office, bearing lofty promises:

“In the traditional midnight New Year’s Eve address to the nation, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s new acting President, promised Russians that he would follow the democratic path and guarantee citizens’ basic freedoms. The sudden leap of Mr Putin, 47, to the head of the Russian nation came after Boris Yeltsin’s surprise resignation at noon Moscow time. ‘Freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of the mass media — these basic freedoms will be reliably protected by the State,’ Mr Putin said in the address.”

The Times, January 1, 2000