The Dull Future of Vladimir Putin’s Rule

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint news conference with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan following their talks in Moscow, March 5, 2020. (Pavel Golovkin/Pool via Reuters)
The gangster government of Vladimir Putin is depressingly common in human history. Someday, its end will be common, too.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE V ladimir Putin has a problem: There is not really much of a retirement plan for gangsters.

In The Godfather, Vito Corleone pulls off an unlikely climax to his career as a mafia don: He dies peacefully in his garden. There was some real-world precedent for that. Don Corleone’s character was inspired in part by Carlo Gambino, who died of a heart attack in old age, as well as by Frank Costello, who retired to his penthouse in the Waldorf Astoria, and by Joey Bonanno, who lived to 97 before dying of natural causes.

But for every Frank Costello there is a Big

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