Clearly stung by the turnout of Saturday’s demonstration against the parliamentary elections, Vladimir Putin has accused outside forces of attempting to influence the outcome of who leads the country that he loves so much.
That the former KGB man has brought stability is without a shadow of doubt, one only has to look at the state of this former superpower when he came to power.
A decade of Boris Yeltsin had pushed Russia to bankruptcy, defeat in Chechnya – though that was seen by others, including myself, as a magnimous move by the President – and a culture of a gangster economy, now known as the reign of the oligarchs.
Putin set about reversing some of this – no one doubts that everything he did, he did so for the sake of the sacred state of Russia.
But how much of a difference has that made – on the surface Moscow appears properous, vibrant, young, yet at what cost has all that come.
Chechnya has been rebulit, or Grozny at least, but at a horendous human cost – it said, and this is by no means a rumour, that Russian forces killed every young man or boy they could get their hands on, in a bid to pacify this rebellious republic.
The journalist Anna Politkovskaya lost her life telling the world what her country’s forces were doing to the people of Grozny.
Putin’s response was straightforward, he set up RussiaToday which gave the world the official line.
So, in amongst the daily news stories, entertainment and sports news, there comes a report from a young reporter of the latest terrorist operation in the Caucasus conducted by Russian security forces.
Max Keiser may talk about the downfall of western capitalism, but he has little to say about how Russia’s own economy has enriched the lives of her own citizens, how the young are so disillusioned that they either take to the bottle or inject heroin to get through each day.
How much the lives of ordinary Russians have been enhanched by a decade of Putin and perhaps a decade of more of this stability is the question that this fierce nationalist has to ask himself.
Unfortunately, if stability is all that he is offering, then he may be only delaying the inevitable, the eventual collapse of Russia.