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When Vladimir Putin announced he'd be seek the Russian presidency again next year, critics compared him to Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled the Soviet Union for 18 years. Putin's potential two more term would give him a total of 24 years as Russia's ruler. As The Wall Street Journal's Gregory L. White explains, "many in Russia and the West see Mr. Brezhnev's reign as a one of stagnant totalitarianism," as he presided over a period of "economic and political stagnation and tension with the West that ultimately led to the Soviet Union's collapse." But not Putin. Putin's spokesman told a Russian TV network Dozhd, "Brezhnev wasn't a minus for the history of our country, he was a huge plus." Maria Makeyeva, deupty editor of Dozhd, said of the interview, "It was rather scary. As a person and a citizen, it shows there's nothing good coming."

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