The corporatist kleptocracy being erected by Russian President Vladimir Putin is profoundly misunderstood in the West. This model dooms Russia to economic degradation and margin-alization. The current global crisis has made this truth painfully clear. The artificially created image of a threatening West (and U.S. in particular) is now becoming the sole ideological justification for Putin's rule. Cool realism and tough patience are needed to deal with Putin's mutant. It would be foolish and shameful of the U.S. to sell out hopes and aspirations of new democracies to a dying mutant for favors this creature has neither intention nor ability to deliver.