Berlin: Russian President Vladimir Putin has disappeared. Well, not literally, but he hasn't been seen in public for a full week and reports about his schedule on the presidential website seem suspect. The Kremlin denies that he is ill, and the Russian blogosphere is abuzz with speculation.
It's still impossible for an outsider to tell where Putin is, or what he's up to. But it isn't too early to draw conclusions from this episode. It offers evidence enough that Russia has become an outright dictatorship. No other kind of state would be so opaque, nor its citizens so preoccupied with t...
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