Is Putin a Dictator?

I have been listening to the Revolutions podcast, lately learning about Mexican history in regard to the Mexican Revolution. I’ve just gotten through a segment about the Porfiriato, a 35 year period of rule by Porfirio Diaz which has been characterized as a de factor dictatorship.

When I read about this classification, I immediately thought of Vladimir Putin. Why isn’t isn’t anyone referring to him as a dictator?

Like Diaz, Putin temporarily turned the reins over to a trusted puppet (Dmitry Medvedev). Then like Diaz, Putin had the law changed so that he could return to direct rule with unlimited terms in office. Like Diaz, Putin controls the outcome of elections.

The methods employed to control elections are different. Diaz simply rigged the elections. Putin controls the media and murders/imprisons his opposition. (Putin may also rig the elections; who knows.) Is it relevant that Putin’s control of elections is done in plain sight?