I have definitely wondered if Putin is jones'n for absolute, supreme dictator-for-life status. I'm not sure that Russia has enough strength to be the power Putin wants. He really ought to let businesses make more money and get fiscally sound before he has the state rape them again for his own use. If I had investments in Russia, I'd be pulling them out now. The writing is on the wall.
One has to wonder what game Putin has decided to play. After a long period of Russian engagement with the West, Putin seems determined to return to the traditional Great Game nonsense of Russian emperors. He has courted terrorist states such as Iran and Iraq, actively protecting them from the consequences of their instransigence towards the global community. He has played games with energy deliveries to Europe in barely-veiled threats that lacked any kind of subtlety about his projection of power. Days ago, he gave a speech so belligerent that Defense Secretary Robert Gates had to explicitly state that one Cold War was enough.
Putin wants to make a case for his ascension to Emperor, in fact if not in name. In doing so, the old spy seems to care little if he touches off another generation of brinksmanship between the Kremlin and the West. He should note that the brink is about a thousand miles closer to Russia in this generation.
Oh, reading about this topic, I'm figuring he'll blackmail and shall we say cajole, business leaders into being part of the "inside". It will be, like all good dictatorships, propped up by an oligarchy who is terrified of him.
More on Russia here.