In the coming days, those running for office, including president of Russia, will kickoff the campaign. Ever since Mikhail Gorbachev altered the Soviet Union and prepared the way for an elective democracy, the Russian people have gone from having one political party dominate elections to a different political party which dominates elections. President Putin is effectively in control of the Russian political process and his party and whomever he decides will succeed him shall gain victory. The tragedy of Putin is failing to recognize his historic opportunity — creating a vibrant and truly democratic Russia. Instead, he manipulates the system to stifle opposition voices and ensure his own political success.
Whoever becomes the new president of Russia still has that historic opportunity — move the nation toward true democracy.