People who oppose him end up dead. Journalists who oppose him die. He's let and encouraged the Orthodox Church create and expand into their politics creating a fully religious government which can't be protested against. Also our smallest war ship is still larger than any of theirs. Their economy currently is growing at -0.2%? Where for instance Ours and Germany are about +1.6-3% give or take. Then we get their trade. Not only do we have sanctions on them, because you know they annexed a country illegally and are growing slowly into Georgia, but their economy sucks because it produces a shit amount of oil and can't compete with our prices or the arabs, plus they will run out soon. Also no presidential term limits.
I mean being number 2 to the US isn't a big deal and doesn't say much. (http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison-detail.asp?form=form&country1=united-states-of-america&country2=russia&Submit=COMPARE)[Comparison]
CPJ has a great source of those killed who write or oppose the Russian government journalistically. https://cpj.org/killed/europe/russia/ check it against the US, where it's about 7.
If you have sources to contradict anything I've said that prove I'm wrong, I'd be more than happy to look at them and retract what I've said.
Also being gay is a death sentence, as in it's illegal to even propagate the idea of it and you can be arrested for it. Such a bastion of freedom.