Russia was always a thugocracy, Tsarist, Communist, or "capitalist."Poo tin can go fukk his hat. Under Poo tin, Russia has degenerated from a communist thugocracy to a garden variety thugocracy, much like China is. The kind of government turdOWE adores.
I disagree with you about China. Bear with me for a second here. . .
We tend to see cultures in terms of "East" and "West." A dichotomy. And because Russians are predominantly White, I guess, we kinda presume they're part of the West. They're not.
I see a trichotomy in Eurasia. In the West, the fundamental statement is that individuals have value and rights, inherent in their being, regardless of what "society" wants. That's essentially the base philosophy from the Atlantic to, roughly, the Polish-Russian border.
In the East, society has the rights and the value, and the rights and value of the individual, and the individuals rights and value, are subordinate to the desires and well-being of the collective. Your freedom ends where society's interest begins. That's the base philosophy from India-ish out to the Pacific.
The "Middle Way" is that there are no rights. Only power. The individual does whatever is possible to obtain and retain as much power as possible, and uses it as they please. Simple. Brutal, but simple.
My take on it.