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Grigory Pasko: So Who is Mr. Путин?

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We all remember that once upon a time Bush-the-younger gazed into the Vladimir Putin’s soul and saw a democrat. Joe Biden, on the contrary, saw three letters in Putin’s eyes – KGB. Schroeder, being chancellor of Germany, called Putin a «dyed-in-the-wool democrat». Just a few years ago, the inhabitants of Vladivostok came out to demonstrate against a tariff increase on imported Japanese cars, carried posters bearing the slogan «Putler – kaput».  At first the police started arresting those carrying the posters, but then later they gave up and let them go as it was not comprehensible to everybody just who this “Mr. Putler” was.

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Today in Russia an ever greater number of people are beginning to see the light in relation to Putin. This gradual change of perspective is not only observed in the polls, but also in the Russian blogosphere – a sensitive barometer of the mood in the masses.

Putin – a complete lawlessnik [bespredel’shchik]. He already doesn’t understand what craziness he’s doing. In my opinion, he’s lost his mind». This is the opinion of the well-known Russian actress Natalia Fateyeva. Her opinion was prompted following the beginning of the reading of the guilty verdict for Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev by Khamovnichesky Court Judge Viktor Danilkin. And several days prior to this Putin had publicly expressed himself about the same thing: that guilt has been proven in court and that «a thief must sit» [behind bars].


It’s unlikely that anyone remembers any more that Putin in the firstyears of his rule liked to call himself a lawyer. If he truly were anactual lawyer, he would no doubt remember that nobody has before averdict to call a person a criminal. But this is – a nobody. And a«nobody» in today’s Russia – this is everything. And Putin is alreadyfor a long time in Russia – more than somebody. He, as the grovellingtoadies of all flavours have already been writing for a long time, – is«our everything». «Our everything» can get away with acting asbizarrely as he wants: he spits on laws, lies on television, robs thecountry blind with friends, leads this country into a totalitarianpast…And all this with the silent approval of the West and its pragmaticpoliticians.

A time will come, and these politicians will regret about their «silence of the lambs».

In the meantime in Russia itself, it seems, the people are beginning to assess Putin himself more soberly.

Recently the procuracy of the republic of Komi repealed a decree on theinitiation of a criminal case under the article “insulting arepresentative of power” in relation to the Syktyvkarian journalistPavel Safronov. In his blog entry, Safronov had named Putin a”pidarast” [a Russian obscenity erroneously suggesting homosexualtendencies, similar in level of insult to the English “fuckhead”–Trans.]The fact is remarkable not because someone called Putin something orother, but because they did not seat the journalist in jail. Maybe, theprocurators are also guessing that Putin – is not the national leader?But something else. Well, that same thing that the journalist wrote…

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, obviously awaiting dispatch to the zone, severaldays before the reading out of the verdict wrote in «Nezavisimayagazeta» aboutPutin: «He understands everything, but he «maintains the brand image» -he is «not ashamed». That is just what he said – he is «not ashamed».Let it be so.

Let it be us who are ashamed then. After all, we arethe ones who allowed ourselves, him, them to become this cruel. Love ofdogs – the only sincere, good feeling that pierces through the icyarmor shell of the «national symbol» of the beginning of the 2000s. Alove of dogs which, just like the love of football among these children,has become a substitute for a love of people… A person inside such anarmor shell can not be happy».

About happiness the intellectual Khodorkovsky , most likely, is notcorrect: he and Putin simply have a different understanding of thisstate. For Putin happiness – is to see how the oligarchs kowtow beforehim. For a normal person this would be disgusting. But if Putinunderstands that he – is the damnation of the country, then he is evenmore odious than we himself can imagine.

Recently the well-known Russian writer and satirist Viktor Shenderovichcompared Putin with Lukashenko. He wrote: «Two foolhardyeagles-autocrats, for whom it is no longer destiny to leave powervoluntarily – only into jail or into the morgue. The brutal loutishnessto the address of the opposition, the total and definitiveshamelessness, the lies that have become the political air, thecheerless crowd of slaves in the audience…How this odious mirror, itshould be, irritates Putin! You’d think he’d want to be reflectedsomewhat differently… «

Despite the fact that dissatisfaction with the tandem in the person ofPutin-Medvedev is ripening ever more, it looks like Putin prefers not tonotice this. He has clearly already begun the pre-election races andsees himself as president after the elections of the year 2012. Hisconfidence that the people will once again swallow yet another phoninessof so-called elections simply astounds. Insolence in combination withcynicism – here are the two main qualities of Putin the politician. Inso doing he contrives not to take responsibility for anything ontohimself – neither for the breakdowns in the economy; nor for theunpreparedness for natural cataclysms; nor for a talentless personnelpolicy; nor for the rebirth of fascism in the country…

It is interesting to me: how many more years will the people tolerate Putin?

Maybe, the coming year of 2011 will give an answer to this question…