After the debacle of Yeltsin, Putin appeared to be the ruler that Russia wanted and needed. Law and order were enforced. Parliamentary chaos was replaced by political stability. Economic distress yielded to an expanding economy. Rebellious provinces and their governors toed the line. But the Chechen terrorism in Beslan provided an opportunity for Putin to expand his power and to establish the foundations of a one-party repressive state. Where is Russia heading? What does this change mean for us?