I don't argue with the gist of that conclusion. But while some observers are convinced that Russia's geopolitical heft and domestic stability will be circumcised by the economic problems it's facing and has yet to face, it appears every cloud has a polonium lining.
Yulka and "Da Boyz": Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko and the Kremlin Tandem ("The Kremdem")
Bloomberg reports today on just what that lining is, and it's almost embarrassing nobody else had figured this one out yet: Russia's neighbors are even (way) more screwed than it is! And since 90% of what Russia cares about is just having the right to screw with its neighbors in the most arbitrary and medieval ways, it may likely be as pleased as the Kremlin ever is with its geopolitical position for a while yet (for perspective, here's what some motards were saying back in '01).