I know Russia seems far away and irrelevant, but Putin pardoning Khodorkovsky is serious shit. Czar-like dictators don't just release 1000s of dissidents including their #1 enemy as a gesture of good will. The USSR went through several waves of this in the mid-1980s, right before being torn brick from brick by its own citizens. Between the inevitable eviction of his cronies from Ukraine, an Olympic investment that threatens crushing debt complicated by likely boycotts, a tanking economy, and ever-less faith from his own citizens; Putin is looking increasingly weak. Like the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the end of him and the disintegration of the Russian Federation is likely to come suddenly and unexpectedly for Western observers. Personally, the KGB has my family's blood all over their hands so I'm going to take great pleasure in watching it burn. But the global implications are profound. What happens to Syria? What happens to Russia's stockpiles of nuclear weapons?