What if all this show of Putin's disappearance was anything but botched? What if this mess was exactly what he wanted it to be, a useful distraction from a series of other issues he would rather we not pay as much attention to, like the mysterious murder of his primary opposition critic just outside the Kremlin walls? In other words, careful what you wish for people. In the final analysis, we may still be witnessing the end of Vladimir Putin. Alternatively, it may simply be Putin's wag the dog communications strategy.