By all outward appearances, Vladimir Putin’s hold on power seems secure.
His party won the 2018 elections with 77 percent of the vote. He has consolidated his control of the Russian media. Most of his rivals have either died or been driven into exile. Now he can deploy his country’s wealthiest oligarchs to pursue the Kremlin’s agenda — just as he did after U.S. President Donald Trump won the 2016 election.