Anna Politkovskaya on Putin

From her book “Putin’s Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy”

He’s neither a born tyrant nor despot. He has simply been trained to think according to categories instilled to him by the KGB, an organisation which represents to him the ideal model, as he has declared more than once. It’s the reason why when someone disagrees with him, Putin demands that ‘we end this hysteria’, which is why he refuses to take part in electoral debates. Political discussion is simply not his element. He does not know how to dialogue. His style is that of the military-style monologue. In the army, the subordinate shuts up, he listens to his chief and his role is to pretend to approve it. In the army as in politics. Any insubordination can only lead to open war.