Putin's vision of Eurasion Union rolls back years
If Vladimir Putin plays his cards right, by the time he has finished ruling Russia, he will have spent more time in power than Leonid Brezhnev, the great bear of the Soviet era. Poised to return as president next March, after a four-year stint as prime minister, Putin would be 71 in 2024 at the conclusion of two six-year terms in the Kremlin.
Whether he lasts that long we shall see, but thanks to a recent encounter with a plastic surgeon's scalpel, we can at least be sure that he will never look as old as his predecessor in the Kremlin. And as he has laid bare his intentions to retake the centre stage, Putin has been rolling back the years in other ways.
This week he has unveiled a grand vision to create a Eurasian Union linking old Soviet neighbours, foreseeing a "powerful, supranational union, capable of becoming one of the poles of the modern world".