Ugh. So stupid.
Dear Russia: Many of us Westerners WANTED you to be an alternative to the West. Putin would have been many people’s hero (including mine) if he achieved this by establishing Property Rights, Rule of Law, and Truth Telling.
Instead you try to achieve this by Lying, Threatening, Corrupting, and Demoralizing. You will fail. Europe’s preference for truth is more powerful than your preference for strength.
Russia has to change on a very fundamental level — their mythology, their collective meta physics — before they consider Property Rights, Rule of Law, and Truth Telling to be in their self interest.