Will Russia’s ailing economy topple Putin before his military reversals?

Source: irishtimes.com irishtimes.com

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In his youth, Vladimir Putin is said to have read a lot of Marx, Engels and Lenin, the founding fathers of Communism. Presumably that was a requirement for anyone intent on scaling the ladder of power in the Soviet Union. For all the ills that Communism unleashed on the world, its advocates posited one basic idea that still holds true (political theorists may disagree), namely that politics is a manifestation of economics and not the other way round. Think of the European history: the land tenure system that underpinned medieval feudalism; the mercantilism that drove the emergence of centralised nation...