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    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Problematic Putin porn


    So Vladimir Putin has a chiselled (if oddly hairless) chest. In the words of a presidential admirer who left their thoughts on the Komsolmolskaya Pravda website, it's one "vigorous torso."

    To Vladimir Vladimirovich, I say congrats. It's likely not easy staying in shape whilst plotting your country's return to superpower status. The days, surely, are already filled with meetings about how to marginalize the pro-Western opposition, bring Ukraine to heel or what journalist to silence next. It's gotta be doubly tough when etiquette requires your attendance at myriad sour cream-laden banketi, which I know did nothing for my physique.

    The question that comes to mind, though, is why are we being shown these pictures now. After all, Vladimir Vladimirovich is stepping down next year, heading into graceful retirement at age 55. Right? With presidential elections just half a year away, shouldn't we be pondering the pecs of Sergei Ivanov and Dmitriy Medvedev, Mikhail Kasyanov and Garry Kasparov?

    Why is Komsomolskaya Pravda still telling kids to "Be Like Putin" on its front page? Is it because you're not going anywhere after all, Vladimir Vladimirovich?

    Though I make no claim to being a political strategist (it's Mark McKinnon - no relation - who used to work for George W. Bush), I have to agree with Yevgenia Albats who worried aloud on her Эхо Москвы show that the pictures - which ominously were posted on the official Kremlin website - might be the strongest statement yet that Putin is planning on sticking around after his second term expires next year.

    These photos are campaign material, pure and simple. They're meant to show the Russian public (and the world) that Putin is fit and ready to remain at Russia's helm past 2008, if he so chooses.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich, of course, is constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term next year. But two of his closest allies, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus and Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, have changed the rules in their neighbouring ex-Soviet republics so that they can run as often as they like. Nazarbayev recently urged Putin to follow suit in the interests of Russia's stability.

    Sergei Markov, a Kremlin advisor, told the Associated Press that the pictures emphasized again that Vladimir Vladimirovich was "cool" - at least in the eyes of the Russian public. "That's been the image throughout the presidency, cool," Markov said.

    Markov is one of those in the Kremlin's inner circle who's been tasked with finding a successor to Putin, be it Ivanov, Medvedev or one of the other siloviki. The decision to publish the Putin porn tells me they haven't yet found anyone "cooler" than Vladimir Vladimirovich and that "Operation Successor" as its known inside the Kremlin, may be morphing into "Operation Incumbent."

    7 comments:

    Gabriel said...

    I find this blog most informative of life currently in Russia...Some of you may be interested in my blog from Ireland which contains an article linling to a lot of Soviet Music..

    I would like to invite your readers in Russia and elsewhere to view my blog ‘An Unrepentant Communist

    http://unrepentantcommunist.blogspot.com/

    Greetings to you all from County ’ Kerry in Ireland!

    From Russia with love said...

    Gabriel:

    This blog is really biased. It is only 20% truth about Russia (if any).

    For those who are trying to inspire another color revolution in Russia:

    Guys, eat this -
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6965253.stm

    Please note, that there is no Mr. Putin among those arrested (as many of you insisted that he was a key person involved).
    And in case some of you will say that the investigation is unfair and controlled by Kremlin (Putin, please read carefully the last sentence:
    - Novaya Gazeta chief editor Dmitry Muratov, quoted by Interfax news agency, described the investigation's findings as "very convincing and professional". -

    So, who is "paranoid"? Putin, or those who try to demonize him at every opportunity?

    Kasparov is looser said...

    Take a look at the picture:
    http://www.agitka.com/images/375.jpg

    The title is: "I'll build another Russia"

    Russian answer is: "We don't need kaspasrov's Russia"!

    Go home (US, or Azerbaidjan - doesn't matter), chess master. We'll be glad to exchange you for Mr.Fisher. He plays chess very well too :)

    DarthJesus said...

    I think you're over-analyzing the pictures. Putin says he will retain influence after stepping down as President, so I think these pictures have more to do with maintaining a positive public image for when he officially retires.

    La Russophobe said...

    I've said before and will say again that I'd be delighted if Putin remained in power. It would mean he does not trust anyone else to take the reins, which would mean there is still a window for change in Russia. The opposite if he steps down.

    But where did you get the idea about "graceful retirement"? Everyone says that if he does step down, it's only for 4 years. Then change the constitution to 7 year (or longer) terms and return.

    Maybe he intends to use those four years to enforce a major, bloody, Stalinesque crackdown through a proxy like Ivanov, and then return with it completed and free of blame (and having to get dirty, which I don't think he has a taste for).

    Anonymous said...

    Putin and Bush are twins. Putin came to power through the apartment bombings, which were a clear FSB operation. Bush is his ally along the lines of Hitler and Stalin. They are attmepting to use staged terrorist attacks and a pseudo Cold War to create a world empire, over which they will then fight. Ask yourself this.
    Why is Rice so powerful? Russian speaker, no translator required.
    Why the lack of interest in 9/11 before hand? Because the Bush people were organizing/manipulating it. Bin Laden is a tool. If Saudi Arabia wanted him shut down, they would have. He is useful as the false alternative to their depsotism.
    Why the anthrax attacks with the Ames strain from Ft. Detrick? T scare everyone into doing whatever Bush wanted, which was to launch wars and create a constitutional crisis to create a dictatorship and world empire. 9/11 was the Reichstag fire/ What is the probablility of all the coincidences? Zero. When you investigate an arson, the presence of multiple accelerants locations is proof there is no accident. Same deal here. We are witnessing the death of the Republic unless people like you step up to the palte. Look at the book Italian letter and see the NIger memo produced by a Western intelligence service before 9/11. Priority in these circumstances implies causality.

    ... said...

    Problematic Putin what? Porn?
    Guys, are you OK? May be too much viagra? Take some sedatives.