This has been happening since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
this is not true. In the first few years after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Soviet Union, Russia seemed to be developing as a modern, even almost “western” country. Just look at how quickly Western companies are gaining a foothold in Russia; Already in 1990 (before the end of the Soviet Union!) The first McDonald’s was opened in Moscow and immediately became very popular. They even asked if they could join NATO. On the one hand, the answer was no, and on the other hand the Partnership for Peace program was set up to give them a kind of semi-organism. I can’t pinpoint an exact year (or cause) when “things went wrong”, I don’t know the inner workings of Russia and its history well enough for that, but it’s only been years since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
These twenty satellite states, as you call them, have been largely annexed by the European Union and NATO.
The word “embedded” sounds like an idea of the European Union and NATO, and those same countries had little say in it. This is simply not true; They themselves wanted to join (it had to do with bad memories from the Soviet era…). We didn’t “recruit” them, we agreed to let them join.
Even if Putin is replaced by another doll, you still have the same problem.
It all depends on who the next doll will be. I have no idea if there is any pro-Western candidate (even Navalny seems to be mostly anti-corruption, and whether he is pro-Western I can’t say), nor how many Russians would support it, but replacing a leader could cause a giant revolution in A blink of an eye. Just look at Yanukovych vs. Poroshenko (or, with any luck, soon Lukashenko vs. Tsikhanoskaya…).
“Coffee buff. Twitter fanatic. Tv practitioner. Social media advocate. Pop culture ninja.”