"Eventually Putin was accepted into the secret service and went through extensive training, learning not only the techniques—including, presumably, how to assume an alias, live undercover, manipulate foreign bank accounts, and create fake companies—but also the mentality of a secret policeman. It is not by accident that Putin and his colleagues all share the KGB’s belief in the power of the state to control the life of the nation, and not by accident that they are instinctively skeptical of independent businesses, people, and organizations. In the course of their training, they learned that events cannot be allowed to just happen, they must be controlled and manipulated; that markets cannot be genuinely open, they must be managed from behind the scenes; that elections cannot be unpredictable, they must be planned in advance—as, indeed, Russia’s now are.
More importantly, these former secret policemen learned to assume that anyone critical of them and their regime is suspicious by definition, probably a foreign spy, and certainly an enemy. Starovoitova was an enemy, Politkovskaya was an enemy, Khodorkovsky was an enemy, but so is anyone who dares to question the absolute right of the Chekists to run Russia."