Everybody in Russia, especially the so-called oligarchs, knows who is in charge of the country.
Everybody in America knows who is in charge of America. It's definitely not Obama.
It's the corporate oligarchy.
Scan down the list of who is in the G-8 and you'll see that for the most part it's big business that calls the shots. The exceptions are Russia and to a lesser extent Germany.
While it is not generally acknowledged and you don't run into his name very often, Karl Kautsky set the stage for the direction that Germany's society would take in the modern era.
Kautsky's take on social democracy has been a largely invisible guiding hand in the shaping of modern Germany. There is a general acceptance among the people that handing the reins to the corporate sector would not necessarily be a good thing for the rest of the country.
Contrast that to the American way, wherein bankers set banking regulations, oil industry executives establish oil industry regulations, and foreign policy is steered by a cabal of insiders who float effortlessly between government and the military-industrial complex that profits mightily from America's endless wars.
Putin governs in the tradition of Kautsky, even though Kautsky never governed anything. Russia certainly has a corporate sector, but every player therein knows who is in charge.
That is why Putin must constantly be vilified by the corporate media in the West.