December 23, 2011

Putin's Halcyon Days in Russia Are Over

Michael Bohm, Moscow Times

AP Photo

In 2007, right before he stepped down after his second term in office, then-President Vladimir Putin was at the height of his political career, enjoying ratings of 80 percent. Since then, however, Putin's popularity has dropped significantly. But you wouldn't know it judging by his cool, confident behavior in the past few weeks, despite the widespread protests. It's as if Putin is stuck in time — stuck in the halycon days of 2007. This happens when absolute power not only corrupts leaders, but also distorts their sense of reality.

 

In 2007, Putin had become the epitome of a "strong hand" that so many Russians admired. He was a leader who "soaked" not only terrorists and certain oligarchs, but also bashed the United States and NATO when necessary. According to his...

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TAGGED: Russia, Vladimir Putin

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