On subject of puppets, brilliant article says it all
A paranoid Duma, for so long choreographed with such care to create the illusion of debate, has plunged into a caricature cabaret of feudal obsequiousness, typing up patriotic laws faster than the printer can print them, each MP desperate not to be the next one busted on TV, denouncing fellow Duma deputies who sided with the opposition as traitors, seeing CIA plots under every bed. The definitive law of the new age is the ban on American families adopting Russian orphans: a response to Washington's decision to publicly name corrupt Russian bureaucrats banned from entering or investing in the United States. The orphans law wasn't cooked up by sophisticated political technologists, it was pushed through by Putin himself, consciously opting to use children as a political weapon. "You think we're mad," the monstrous, armed, rich puppets seem to be saying, "we'll show you mad. You think we're bad? We'll show you bad..."...
The end of the political technologists, of the viziers, doesn't mean Russian politics is about to become real, rather it is spinning away into hallucination cubed, a nightmare dimension where there is no reference point back to reality, where puppets talk to holograms and both are convinced they are real.