They have very little to lose, so Putin is empowered to help people disappear or poison his political opponents because he knows no one is going to do anything about it and sanctions are ineffective overall as they don’t really have anything of value to sanction.
He’s not the best there is, he’s the only one besides probably China and Saudi Arabia and a handful of others who do it. Doesn’t make him the best. I would bet the USA could do it very well if they actually wanted to take those kinds of steps.
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