Monday, June 09, 2014

An honor Putin doesn’t deserve

By Masha Gessen, WashPost, Published: June 7

Masha Gessen is a Russian American journalist and the author of “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.”

News reports described the encounter between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Obama on Friday as “awkward,” one in which they were apparently “avoiding one another” and acted “much like divorced parents at a child’s graduation.”

A more accurate simile might go something like this: “like divorced parents, one of whom abused the child systematically for years, then stopped briefly, only to emerge from rehab and violate the restraining order and resume the abuse.”

Less than three months ago Putin completed the first forcible annexation of land in Europe since World War II. For this, he has been predictably compared to Hitler by scores of commentators, including Hillary Clinton and Prince Charles. The rate of repetition has not, however, made the comparison banal and apparently irrelevant to present-day politics: It was Putin’s inclusion on the guest list for the 70th anniversary of D-Day that had that effect. It also gave him the opportunity, in an interview with French journalists, to dismiss Clinton’s comments as a woman’s folly.

(More here.)

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