Washington, March 10 - Vladimir Putin's victory in the presidential elections "may be both Putin's last and the final one for Putinism", former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has said.
"The future turns on the behaviour of a rising Russian middle class that is integrated into the world and alienated by the Kremlin's corrupt politics," Rice was quoted as saying by the Washington Post.
"He has gotten his way, replacing his protege Dmitry Medvedev and reclaiming the Kremlin to solidify authoritarianism and political stagnation," she said.
The former secretary of state said the representatives of the Russian creative class were studying at prestigious business schools in Europe and the US and no longer watched "Kremlin's mouthpiece", Russian TV.
"The internet flourished as a place where alternative voices were heard," Rice said. But even the middle class in Moscow, St. Petersburg, or Vladivostok have become used to normal lives and "have different expectations for the future".
"Putin has staked his legitimacy on prosperity and order, but he seemed not to understand that a prosperous population would demand respect, too. Many are fed up with a political system that sometimes behaves more like a natural resources syndicate than a national government," Rice added. (IANS)