Eftychis has an interesting post over at New School Politics on Putin's inability to alter the international system. He has many great points, but there's one in particular I thought was very interesting:
Russia under Putin has in fact moved backwards from the proactive involvement of Yeltsin in the 1990’s. Yeltsin gained Russia G8 membership and even tried to move it closer to NATO, whereas Putin has attempted to juxtapose Russia as a competitor to NATO. Putin’s practices have only increased the isolation of Russia, had he not embarked in seven years of extreme nationalistic policies, it is likely that rising oil prices and globalization would have carried Russia much further than where it is today.