I agree, but at this point it’s hard to imagine Russia remaining democratic in its current physical make-up. Maybe, someday, if the Asian parts separate into their own countries leaving a “European” Russia that can once and for all look west and dispense with grandiose notions of an empire.

But I don’t see it. The Russians truly are genius in so many ways - maybe a bad analogy, but almost every genius-level person I’ve met in my own life had a screw loose.
All they seem to know is some sort of authoritarian form of government. People tend to stick with what they know.