Pretend for the next couple of minutes that you are the dictator of Russia. That’s not a huge stretch; lots of guys have had the job before you. Your nation faces ecological ruin, declines in birthrates, health, and longevity, financial uncertainty, an intractable war in Chechnya, and a national culture ill-suited to the modern world.
What would you do?
The environmental damage caused by your Communist predecessors isn’t going to get fixed without a lot of time and even more cash. But with a shrinking population, time is short