Putin, Gorbachev and two visions of Russian greatness

The Kremlin has returned to methods and goals based on conquest, fear and brutality

A file photo from Oct 10, 2006 of Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) shaking hands with former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev, with then German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former prime minister of East Germany Lothar de Maiziere behind them, in Dresden. PHOTO: AFP
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Donald Trump promised to make America great again. Xi Jinping's favourite slogan touts the "great rejuvenation" of the Chinese people. Vladimir Putin is driven by a similar desperate desire to restore Russian greatness.

But how do you define a great country? Mr Putin and Mr Mikhail Gorbachev, who died last week, had different ideas about that.

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