President Vladimir Putin, a man who has exuded supreme self-confidence during his 12 years at Russia’s helm, has celebrated his 60th birthday. But vulnerabilities are beginning to show in this leader whose future hinges on oil and gas prices - and suppressing an increasingly vocal opposition.

RUSSIA’S President Vladimir Putin marked his 60th birthday knowing that much of the business elite, the media, and a good part of Moscow’s population have turned against him.

The mood on the streets on Sunday, October 7, 2012, was anything but festive.

Although plans for another thousands-strong anti-Putin ral...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Although plans for another thousands-strong anti-Putin rally failed to materialise, the groundswell of anger remains strong
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