Vladimir Putin’s personal response to the damages and casualties lost in the wildfires indicates an inclination toward resuming the presidency, writes the Los Angeles Times. Others might say that this is just the job of the prime minister. I am not looking forward to the opening season of unsubstantiated rumor milling on Russia’s leadership, and reading the tea leaves on each and every statement and gesture. Here goes Lilia Shevtsova:
“It is quite obvious that Putin uses these difficult times to show the people who is the strong man in the country, who is the national leader, who is the can-do man — and who is just a Kremlin clerk,” she said.
“It is clear to me that Putin started his presidential campaign now as Russia is passing through difficult times, she added. “He needs to unequivocally indicate to the country that he is in control, and not Medvedev, whom Putin never counted for much anyway.”