Mr Vladimir Putin,
Recently you have come under fire for the rollback of freedoms in your proud nation. Your people have a lot to be proud of. Your army is feared the world around. Your men and women are intelligent, they excel at every academic pursuit they tackle. Your winters are the stuff of which nightmares are made. Your people have spent centuries taming one of the worlds most stunning topographies, it may not be done yet, but they will accomplish it. Your people have many strengths, many virtues, as well as the integrity, and guile to be great. In short, when the bear roars, the world gives pause and wonders who has drawn it ire. The people of Russia have only one impediment, it is however a large one. They have never had a government that would let them take all their potential and use it to shake not just their region, but the entire world. It's not that they haven't tried to be great not just as individuals, or villages and states, they have swept former leaders into the dustbin of history, and most likely will again. In the past this was accomplished with great violence, of late its been accomplished with sharper but less direct violence. The people have endured hundreds of years, and scores of leaders with a few of those leaders, Katherine, and Gorbachev would be called "The Great". Premier Putin, while you are certainly a better leader than several of the Pre-Gorbachev leaders, you have not show yourself to be the man that Russia needs to be called "Russia the Great". You still have time, your place upon the stage of world history is still in the writing, the acting, and the recording. You know the path you must take, and it will
cost you some of those you call friend
. That is a sad thing, but if you've read any folk tales, you know sometimes in order to achieve victory the protagonist must sometimes choose their principles over their friends. They need to be able to the field of battle with the knowledge that some of their friends will not return with them. Mr. Putin, you are lucky, unlike the men in women in the tales of grandmothers and bards, you have their lessons to learn from, and even lessons closer to home
. Take heed.