Rarely does a political leader get a shot at greatness. Far rarer is a second chance — but the current impasse may provide Putin with just that.

Lenin on the Train

by Catherine Merridale

In April 1917, at the height of the First World War, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train. Before the year was out he had become the master of a revolutionary new state. Lenin’s ultimate achievement was to turn ideas that Karl Marx had outlined on paper forty years before into an ideology of government.