When the opposition are murdered in the streets with impunity, even the semblance of democracy is dead in Russia. They might as well change the name back to Soviet Union.
Though history will find Putin is more like Kaiser Wilhelm II than Hitler or (his hero) Stalin. Wilhelm started a century of war trying to cling to a previous centuries Romantic ideals of personal and national glory. Putin is trying to re-create the “glory days” of the Soviet Union, while the world has evolved to something very different.
Putin will attempt to plaster over the ethnic and religious fractures by his personality cult and hyper-nationalism.
But in the long run it won’t work. In the long run, he dies. (As do we all.)
And, in the meantime, he will have ruined his people’s best chance for a competitive future in a world which will only become more competitive.