I believe that “history” will judge Putin as one of the best leaders Russia has had in its thousand year history.
Or would have so judged him had he retired.
When he came to power, according to his “Russia in the New Millennium”, he set himself four tasks: to reverse the economic collapse, to reverse the decay of central power, to improve Russia’s status in the world and to institute a rule of law, or at least a rule of rules. On his watch these goals were achieved to a considerable extent (the last, less, to be sure). Most leaders are lucky if they can attain even a few of their goals, partially. Putin did much better.
But he missed one thing: to set an example to his successors that two terms are enough for any mortal.
If he built a system that can’t work without him, then it doesn’t work.
He runs the risk of “history” judging him the Turkmenbashi of Russia.