Putin is extremely clever. He has a stronghold on all the Powers. But unlike China, he does not oppress the press or intimidate it as Cristina does in Argentina..both of which has earned those countries bad press, pardon the pun.
In any society, including the USA or Argentina or France, 20 to 30 per cent of the population is very literate, by choice or design. Putin needs only the other 70 per cent to win elections, so he controls the Media which most of the 70 per cent would seek for news and information, namely, TV and newspapers. Majority of the people whether they live in the USA, China, Russia or Cuba or Iran or Argentina get their news from TV and it is the control of the TV that is a tool of the control of the knowledge of the population, as can be seen in the USA, not to mention to use them for propaganda.
Putin does that and there is no "revolution" in the streets of Moscow, nor any signs of an "arab spring" in the Russian Tundra. It is very similar to the USA, regardless of the economic situation and oppression of some of the population, lack of education and medical care for a sizable portion of its people (hope Obama corrects that)--these very same people are controlled by TV, owned and directed by the oligarchs, giving rising to the anomaly of the oppressed resisting any change for the better!There is no "Arab" or "Mexican" spring in the USA either. The literate American can get his information from the source, not filtered and diluted sources such as CNN (which is like a low level peon to the ruling class)(thank God or Allah, Al Jazeera would be soon coming to America!). Some of the Internet sources of news such as Yahoo News are also fairly shallow.
But other sources are available often free. Any American or any other nationality for that matter who reads or aware of
The New York Times
have my immediate respect. There are many excellent sources of information for those who seek. When they say Knowledge is Power, it has become to mean that the control of that knowledge gives Power to a very selfish group within any society.
I had been told when I was a child, that Curiosity is the sign of Intelligence. So be curious about the world we live in. Make this journey a pleasant one with someone you love!
It truly broke my heart to read in The Economist that the President of the Argentine Republic, Cristina, is so hell bent on controlling the leading media conglomerate. She does not like its criticism of her! Thus she would join those from the darkest part of the Argentine history, the military which ruled Argentina 1976-1983, they were the last ones who tried to control the Press in Argentina.
Wherever you live, you can see this example of Power of the Press in the hands of the few who do not have the interests of the many at their hearts..Malaysia, Singapore.. all come to mind..