"Several Western scholars, including this author, believe that the 1999 succession crisis was managed in order to tie Putin's ascension to power to the incitement of the war in Chechnya.The seizure of Yukos and the arrest of its chief executives, Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in 2003-04 represent another example of the resort to direct force and the fomenting of a crisis to further narrow the possibilities for democratization and strike at Westernizing forces in Russia Since then further moves have occurred in order to eliminate the possibility of a "color revolution" against a stage-managed election and to ensure the loyalty of all of Russia's various multiple militaries. Putin's subordinates had and have good reasons for fearing such an outcome. Despite the current mood of truculent boasting about being a superpower, in fact, as Heinrich Vogel suggests, the machinations of these elites betrays a profound insecurity about their status and the legitimacy of their position and the governing system."
Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Contemporary Conflict: http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil
Strategic Insights (August 2007), v.6 no. 5