Short one today: It is awful to hear that St Petersburg was struck by an act of violence, as a bomb exploded in the Metro with a current death-toll of 14 people and a second bomb was disarmed before it could take more lives. The question of who is responsible for the St Petersburg Metro bombing seems quickly resolved: Akbarzhon Jalilov, an ethnic Uzbek born in Osh in 1995, is the prime suspect. Undoubtedly the perpetrator acted in the belief he was standing up for a cause. Russia has long since been a target for terrorist attacks, in part because of its heavy military advances against ISIS' occupation of the Middle East. But it would be short-sighted to believe that this wasn't a situation open to exploitation by the Government.
There are only two possibilities regarding these leaks: they are somewhat or completely true, or they are completely false. There is no true nuance between these two options, but the ramifications aren't quite so binary: a man that has been recorded to carry a conversation including the phrase "Grab them by the pussy" can reasonably expect leniency toward other acts of depravity because that has been the established reaction to any missteps (ones that would bring down any other politician, one might imagine). The degree of outrage by the "mainstream media" will vary.
Putin's rule as President began (again) in 2012, but he was in the high echelons of politics already in 1999. Trump made first ripples in the pond of American politics with his claims of doubt regarding President Obama's birth country and legitimacy in his elected role in 2011 - reawakening a suspicion that went back as far as 2004. The controversial issue was heard around the world, though it left no noticeable traces elsewhere. (As an aside, I would be interested in learning if other countries have experienced an ascendancy to power by a "minority" whose eligibility/suitability has been called into question by nature of their "minority")