Today it was announced that President Vladimir Putin has been awarded the Nobel prize for his service for Russia, celebrated by the selection committee for having stopped the “robberies and murders” that took place during the “chaos and lawlessness” under the Yeltsin administration. Don’t worry – it’s just the fake Nobel prize. What is more alarming is the apparent insatiability of Putin’s lust for the cult of personality which has reached such towering heights in recent years. When will enough be enough for this leader’s ego? We’ve had Time magazine controversially declare him person of the year, vodka brands ride the coattails of his brand name, worldwide half-naked photo spreads like a supermodel, tabloid rumors like a Hollywood star, and all measure of various paraphernalia for the fans. Nope – this is not enough – why not arrange for someone to award the outgoing president a Nobel prize? This affinity for ongoing manufactured accolades does not bode well for the emergence of the next president’s independence.