Despite all the propaganda that was put out by John McCain, Putin was selected by Yeltsin because he was being blackmailed on the one side by the oligarchs in July 1999 and the communists on the other who introduced a motion in the Duma to impeach him for corruption that was related to the Bank of New York scandal.
Putin NEVER sought to resurrect the old USSR. In fact, he was the ONLY Russian leader to even criticize Lenin as just a bolshevik who destroyed a great empire of the Tsars. Lost in the pages of history, Russia at the time in 1917 had the largest gold reserves of any nation. Those gold reserves vanished and to this day have not been found. It was believed that they were hidden to prevent the Communists from seizing them.
Putin was there to restore Russia after the oligarchs plundered it and the Harvard boys who advised Russia on how to make the transition from Communism to Capitalism utterly never understood the most basic element of such a transition – the people. Putin’s most important achievement of his 20 years in power was restoring normalcy and stability to Russia. He went after the oligarchs and told them they could keep their money, but to stop interfering in politics.
The unwritten history that has been omitted from all books on the subject is that in 1991 when the USSR collapsed, NATO solicited Gorbachev to join NATO. That was one of the reasons there was a coup against him for the hardliners saw this would be a surrender of Russia to the USA. That is when Yeltsin stood on the tank and became President. Yeltsin was himself corrupt and he actually facilitated the rise of the oligarchs.
When Yeltsin turned to Putin out of desperation, the people cheered for Putin was neither an oligarch nor a communist. Despite the propaganda from the West, Putin truly enjoyed a 70%+ approval rating for the people neither wanted to lose all freedom to the communists and the oligarchs exploited the people to gain wealth.
Putin has refused to institute a draft to shore up Russian forces. However, despite all the propaganda that pours out of Ukraine, removing Putin will turn Russia very hard right and they are already criticizing Putin for being too soft.
There has been the strategy that inflation is rising and if Putin is smart, he will turn off the gas to Europe for the winter and show them how insane this is to (1) fuel a proxy war against Russia, and (2) push this Great Reset and the Green Agenda.
Basically, the hope remains that the West loses interest in supporting Ukraine as the costs rise. That’s been Russia’s hope and Ukraine’s dread before, but it seems more unlikely than ever at the moment before winter comes.
The most serious threat to Putin is losing the support of the elites. At the moment, Putin is the balance in the middle between hawks who want to see him crush Ukraine, and doves who want a peace settlement. As it stands now, the hawks would win for the West does not seek any peace and Zelensky says Kissenger is living in 1938 and refuses to yield one inch of territory to Russia. The Ukrainian Neo-Nazis instantly attacked the Donbas in 2014 and even put out a slogan that Crimea will be Ukrainian or Crimea will be depopulated. The hatred there is not going to ever vanish. The only reasonable solution is to allow the Donbas to vote, but since they are mostly ethnic Russians, Kyiv will never accept their vote.
It appears that the volatility will rise after this coming week. The Ukrainians may be forcing Putin’s hand to placate the Hawks since the Doves have been rejected by the West. NATO was Behind the Surprise Offensive In Kharkiv. Yet this victory for Ukraine was more of a staged PR event. The region was being held by local police units, not the Russian army which is in the South. Russia has achieved a 10:1 kill ratio against the Ukrainians in the region of the Donbas which is key. The Ukrainian forces that attacked Kharkiv were in effect a NATO army with the full support of Western intelligence and tactics. Because Kharkiv was held by police-type forces rather than the Russian army, it was clearly done for a PR event to raise morale and to get the West to send more money under the theory that Putin is on the run.