Over the past decade, Russia has progressively become more authoritarian under laws restricting civil liberties and free speech.Reminiscent of the USSR’s once omnipresent KGB, Putin has expanded the power and size of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).Rise to power Vladimir Putin’s initial rise to power results from a series of bizarre promotions that turned him from a medium-clearance KGB agent into the most powerful man in Russia.
Putin’s assertive directness eventually earned him the rank of lieutenant general, a respected but politically insignificant position.
But for unknown reasons, Putin was picked from obscurity by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and named Deputy Chief of Staff in 1997, surprising just about everybody.
While Russia’s blatant invasion of Ukraine has resulted in harsh economic sanctions from the west meant to harm Putin’s domestic support, he’s seen a surge in support.
With a current approval rating of 84%, Putin has used his popularity to push extended repressive reforms through the Duma, further cementing his seat of power.
As a result, Stalin’s popularity has soared: whereas in 1989 only 12 percent of Russians described Stalin as the most influential figure in Russian history, in 2012, 42 percent did.