Mantras... You know nothing about how Russia is functioning.
They guess a little and that`s enough.
This opinion below is a bit farfetched but reveals some truth about Russia:
Russia can only function under the rule of a totalitarian regime.
Democracy has got to be the most obscene and offensive word any Russian can ever hear.
Why is it so that Russia must be ruled by a strong man who resorts to authoritarian measures? And why do most Russians support strong dictators at power in their country?
Russia is a big post-imperial country with potential for separatist movements which might blow it up from inside. Russia has already lost many sattelites countries when the USSR collapsed. Only a dictator might stop further decomposition of Russia and preserve its endagered territorial integrity. Such policy cannot be attained with democratic measures.
That is why Russia will never adopt democracy in Western style, because it would be too dangerous, both Russian political elites and average people realise it. There will be always facade democracy on the surface, but practically half dictatorship.