Maxim Trudolubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, one of Russia’s most important dailies. He was the editorial page editor of Vedomosti between 2003 and 2015 and has been a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times since the fall of 2013. Maxim also writes The Russia File blog for the Kennan Institute. Maxim is the co-author of the Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine. His new book The Tragedy of Property: Private Life, Ownership and the Russian State will be out soon.
New Order, “True Faith,” Substance, 1987.
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- By Sean — 10 years ago
Vladimir Putin just keeps racking up the accolades. As everyone will remember, Time magazine caused a stir when it named VVP Person of the Year 2007. Now Vanity Fair has named him Numero Uno on its The New Establishment 2008 list. VF‘s blurb on Vlad the Invader,
SPHERE OF INFLUENCE: After eight years as Russia’s president, Putin’s still at the height of his power. He saw his approval ratings top 80 percent, thanks to an economy revived through energy profits, which has made it easier for him to get away with his antipathy to free speech and other civil liberties—he controls the media and imprisons or exiles his enemies. And cashing in on Russia’s natural resources has enabled Putin to pay off the nation’s foreign debt, rebuild its military, restore its pride, and re-assert its place in world affairs. Faced with presidential-term limits, Putin, 56, sustained his formidable power by becoming prime minister and leader of the overwhelmingly dominant United Russia party. He also all but installed his longtime protégé and former campaign manager, Dmitri A. Medvedev, as Russia’s new president through a reportedly rigged March election. But by all accounts Putin was the commander in chief in its recent foray into Georgia.
ENEMIES: Georgia and former chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is the leader of the opposition coalition Other Russia and has had the nerve to challenge Putin’s iron rule.
RUMOR HAS IT: Putin has secretly stashed away more than $40 billion (from Russia’s oil-and-gas riches) in secret bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
EVIDENCE OF POSSIBLE LACK OF MODESTY: Putin’s exhibitionistic tendency to go shirtless (and show off his buff, hairless physique to photographers) while fishing with Monaco’s Prince Albert II or hunting in the Siberian mountains.
SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT: Putin has done little to rein in the country’s ruling kleptocracy. In a recent call to analysts, Rupert Murdoch said, “The more I read about investments in Russia, the less I like the feel of it. The more successful we’d be, the more vulnerable we’d be to have it stolen from us.”
And when you consider all the above, his pecs, and his hunting skills, what a mensch!
- By Sean — 2 years ago
- By Sean — 7 years ago
As many know, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin turned 59 today, a day which for the last five years is also the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s assassination. As one would imagine, Putin’s return to the throne has made this birthday has made the pious and humble Russian people more grateful than usual. As if his personality cult needed more inflation, the great leaders birth was even commemorated with the Twitter hashtag #СПАСИБОПУТИНУЗАЭТО, “Putin, thank you for that,” a revamp of the old Soviet joke, “Прошла зима, настало лето—Спасибо партии за это” (Winter has passed, summer has come –Thank the Party for that.)”
But my favorite happy birthday to Putin prank so far is the kimono-clad Putin sitting in Indian-style right where the famous statute of Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky stood on Lubyanka square. According to one Russian blog, the Putin puppet appeared at [5:07] in the evening. Who had to gumption to place the Putin remains unknown.
Experts claim that on the birthday of the colonel (or lieutenant colonel so he’s not to be mistaken as deep sea diver) will be inexorably dragged through the headwaters. Especially since he has turned into a hero in popular comics. Others think that he hasn’t ever drank, engages in sports and thinks a lot about the Motherland, meditates, and can levitate anywhere. Even on his birthday. After all, he recently did exactly that when he managed to change places with President Medvedev. What a great energetic person.
Here’s a video of the prank.