Of course if old Vlad really DID believe all that happy horse hockey about Christian faith and the "Third Rome" ideal, that would preclude him being able to refashion Russia into the old nemesis which populates the nightmares of any red blooded American war hawk.
Nope! If you remake Russia into a new era boogeyman which relies on Christian values, then it necessarily must either be a free market capitalist system or a fascist dictatorship.
Ain't no Commie Christian nations and ain't never will be any either, leastways not at superpower level anyway.
That's when Communism has to reign in all the true believers because the only true faith is Communism, not a church.
Churches ain't welcome.
Therefore, Russia has a weakness, and that weakness is the fact that Russia is now a player in a globalist marketplace.
"What do you think the Russians talk about in their Councils of State? Karl Marx?
They sit down with their statistical decision theories, lineal programming charts, and their Mini-Mac solutions and compute the cost-price probabilities of their stocks and transactions, just like we do.
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale.
The world is a college of corporations, all inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business.
The world is a business, Mr. Beale.
It has been since Man crawled out of the slime."
---Arthur Jensen's rant to Howard Beale in "NETWORK"
The Russians embraced an incredibly globalist and oligarchial form of capitalism and my cards tell me that they are about to learn some important lessons, the depth of which an old KGB hack like Vlad probably does not appreciate.
But I am willing to bet his "constituents" do.
You know, I've always secretly believed that China has set aside enough of its accumulated wealth that, were it to decide that it wanted to punish the West, it could almost flip a switch and have its population back to a bowl of rice, one bicycle and black pajamas inside of a year in order to call in all the markers we owe plus throw enough loose currency on the market to bring the dollar completely to its knees.
I do not believe Russia is able to make such a transition, and even if it could, I doubt it would be able to as a communist power.
And the importance in that is, communism is the weapon Russia would have to use to frighten us. Without austere bare-knuckled communism Russia cannot be the boogeyman it needs to be.
Mere oligarchial fascism? Phooey, we already have that here.
And our fascists are bigger than their fascists.