Dmitri Medvedev

Vladimir Putin is often described as being like a grandmaster in his moves on the diplomatic board. This is based on the clichéd view that Russian skill at chess is a function of national character — which it isn’t: besides which, Putin’s moves are conditioned by rage and resentment, which leads to highly irrational decisions.

Both the Russian intelligentsia and the people have lost faith in their leader—but he won’t go quietly, whatever the voters’ verdict