If it’s really the economy (, stupid), then Putin has been quite successful

„When Putin arrived in office, Russia was just emerging from the disastrous market reforms of the 1990s and the 1998 financial crisis. The new president had no grand economic vision: while he slashed taxes to benefit business, he also renationalised key sectors, starting with the breakup of political foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos oil company in 2003. Nonetheless, unused manufacturing capacity and rising prices for oil, Russia’s main export, helped usher in an era of unprecedented prosperity that Putin is still remembered for, with real disposable income doubling between 1999 and 2006.“

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/06/vladimir-putin-15-ways-he-changed-russia-world

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