This is Part 5 of a special Daily Vertical series on Vladimir Putin and the ghosts of Kremlins past. (The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.)
Vladimir Putin is haunted by his predecessors.
He’s spooked by how one of them came to power, through a revolution in the streets.
He’s haunted by another, whose example he could never live up to.
He’s afraid of turning into one, who was overthrown in a palace coup, and another who presided over a geriatric, ossified regime and a stagnant economy.
He’s afraid of turning into another, who inadvertently sparked the disintegration of his country.
The ghosts of all the dead Kremlin leaders — as well as one that’s still alive — weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the current one.
In a special six-part series, The Daily Vertical takes a closer look at Putin and the ghosts of Kremlins past.
A transcript of today’s Daily Vertical can be found here.