Our friend and colleague John Lough has a letter published in the Financial Times:
Sir, Vladimir Putin’s taut upper body has indeed become a sad symbol of Russia’s increasingly limited ability to impress its neighbours and international partners. The country remains remarkably reluctant to reinvent itself and develop its soft power potential that undoubtedly exists. We have so far been spared the sight of Dmitry Medvedev’s naked torso. Mr Medvedev seeks to emulate his political master in many ways – speaking, dressing and even walking like him. Mr Medvedev reportedly practises yoga rather than body-building, so we must hope that parts of Russia’s leadership will begin to show greater flexibility.
London W1, UK