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Putin’s new term will show if the system he built can survive without him


The next six years will show whether Putin is willing to allow technocrats outside his personal sphere to take over the system he created.

On 7 May, Vladimir Putin was inaugurated for his fifth presidential term. The ceremony took place in a very different context from his previous inaugurations, with a war raging and the army rattling its nuclear sabre.

Team Navalny and Proekt (an independent Russian investigative journalism outlet) released new footage of ‘Putin’s Palace’ on the Black Sea to coincide with the event – but its impact will be negligible. With their network destroyed, Navalny dead, and the war in Ukraine ongoing, anti-corruption investigations have long lost their effectiveness.

Instead, when watching the inauguration, with Putin surrounded by the same faces in the magnificent splendour of the Kremlin’s royal chambers, time appeared to have stopped.

Putin has never seemed more like a tsar. But there’s one big difference: the tsars had clear succession plans. Putin does not.

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