Hannah Mckay / Reuters

I am writing these words in advance: Vladimir Putin was re-elected on Sunday for another six-year term as Russia’s president. Some aspects of contemporary Russia are routine and predictable, like Putin’s re-election with more than 70 percent of the vote. But Russia’s decision-making, especially about foreign policy, can be a black box.

In today’s issue, we’ll peer into that black box. We’ll talk about what we know about Russia, and whether we can keep trusting that information.

—Matt Peterson

A Brief Guide to Putin’s Power

Russia’s election was decidedly not a turning point for the country. But the fact that Putin felt the need to go through the ritual of staging an election gives us important clues to what will come next.  

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