America is a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of people who never emigrate. Notably, Americans living outside the United States are not called emigrants, but 'expats.'
In 2008, Putin's message was, 'We aren't like a Central Asian republic, we aren't going to build a personalistic regime, we will have institutions.' This is all abolished now. The very idea of a governing party and party career, as you have in China, that didn't work.
Germany, because of the fact and the perception of a special relationship with Russia, is the only one who can influence Russian debate. Russians also believe that Germans understand them best because they've been through a big war and know what humiliation means.
The E.U. cannot act as guardian of the post-Cold War status quo without risking a collapse of Europe's current institutional infrastructure.