Another indispensable post from the brilliant Russian-watchers at the Power Vertical, one of our favorite Russia blogs:
A new leader comes to the Kremlin in a time of chaos, replacing a bumbling and erratic predecessor. He loves to hunt and drive fast cars. He ushers in an era of stability and relative prosperity, thanks largely to high oil prices. People see the first decade or so of his rule as a golden age.
This could easily be a description of Vladimir Putin. But it also applies to another Russian leader — Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982.