Here's a look into Vladimir Putin's soul that is disturbing, but no surprise if you've followed the Russian premier's actions in the Crimea and Caucasus in the past three years:
The collapse of the Soviet Union was "the greatest political catastrophe of the last century," Russian president Vladimir Putin said Monday as he delivered his annual state of the nation address.
The former KGB agent said the 1991 breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a "true drama" that left tens of millions of Russian people living outside Russia, in breakaway republics formerly under Soviet control.
But Putin will keep the international criticism at bay (although there are tons of European leftists who probably agree with the "catastrophe" label of the USSR's fall) with mutterings like this:
But in Monday's speech, Putin said Russia's main goal now is to develop a free and democratic society, though he clarified that it would be a democracy based on Russian traditions instead of Western ideals.
"We must become a free society of free people," he said.
Sure. Will that be before or after he shuts down all non-government kowtowing press outlets and nationalizes the oil, gas and minerals industries?