To evaluate Russia is to understand Putin's personality and recognize what Russia has become. As an example of Putin's character, a German diplomat once said... 'Putin rarely says what he means and never trusts others to mean what they say'. In 1999, Putin as a former KGB member moved quickly to consolidate power. He cracked down on the opposition and the news media. People who stood up to Putin either found themselves on the run... or dead. He made it abundantly clear what he wanted from big oil and big business. Oligarchs like Khodorkovsky are a perfect example. He demanded his share of their wealth and he wanted them to stay out of politics. Those who refused wouldn't be around to complain. Russia under Putin is like a modern day version of an autocratic state.
Knesset passes 'Norwegian Law' allowing ministers to resign their seats, remain in cabinet (Haaretz)
from the article: Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin to visit Israel in June