Today in Russia people have access to more information than in the Soviet era, despite Putin’s rampant censorship. Liberal opposition is small, but it is fighting back. German Gref, head of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank, has repeatedly warned about the dangers of Russia’s current economic inefficiencies reminiscent of the Soviet times. “We have inconceivable social costs in the area of public administration,” he said
last month according to Moscow Times in a speech to investors and senior officials at the VTB Russia Calling investment forum.
Putin promised to bring stability and prosperity, but as the economy keeps plummeting, more people will start asking themselves if he delivered on his promise. Russia’s history generally does not lend itself to optimism. Whether freedom and democracy will come to Russia anytime soon is an open question. But Putin has put Russia on a path of economic decline, just as the Soviet authorities had done to Russia before him. And just as the Soviet leadership lost the support of its population, it is likely, that so will Putin.