|Putin's KGB style dictatorship is tightening its grip on Russia|
Prime Minister and former President Dmitry Medvedev is probably more "liberal" than Vladimir Putin. But in reality that has not made any real difference, because Medvedev has been - and still is - nothing more than a puppet, created by Russia's dictator Vladimir Putin.
Several of Medvedev's "liberal" aides have recently been fired, and Reuters reports that "rumours swirl in Moscow that Medvedev himself will be fired by Putin before the end of the year".
Medvedev probably already knows that his days are counted, which is why he on Friday chose to disagree with his boss about the release of the two members of the punk band Pussy Riot:
"RIA Novosti news agency quotes Medvedev Friday as saying it was not "right" for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyoknina to serve prison sentences, adding that they had "already been in jail long enough."
Putin and his band of former KGB friends still repeat the mantra of modernisation - a concept beloved by Russian tsars for centuries - but the facts on the ground tell another story:
"A brief and shallow political thaw under Dmitry Medvedev's 2008-12 presidency (in which Putin continued to wield ultimate power from the prime minister's office is being reversed.
Opposition leaders have been arrested on charges which human rights organisations say are trumped-up, new controls have been clamped on the Internet and a Medvedev repeal of slander laws has been reversed."
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Most international investors understand what is going on in Putin's Russia, and stay away. The big exception is BP, which recently made its biggest mistake ever by joining forces with a dictator, who in the end will share the fate of all other corrupt and criminal dictators.