'What he dreams of at night he can carry out in the morning'
Vladimir Putin has nearly as few checks on his ability to exercise power as did a Tsar, writes Dan O'Brien
We owe an incalculable debt to Russia. In modern times, that great nation has saved Europe not once but twice.
Both Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany were prevented from dominating the continent by the enormous blood sacrifices of the Russian people.
Had not millions of Russians laid down their lives to halt the advances of the great megalomaniacs of the 19th and 20th centuries, we, like all Europeans, would most likely be living very different lives today. And that is not all we have to be grateful for. In science, literature, maths, music and dance Russian society has enriched international society. At a human level, nobody anywhere is more profoundly cultured than a cultured Russian.