Why Vladimir Putin’s People Love Him

I realize the title of this essay (as well as graphic) is going to cause some to clutch their pearls and fall on the fainting couch, but hear me out: This is an insightful essay. It bears attention and should be read in a dispassionate manner –the same manner I dare say in which it was written.

What we are witnessing with the rise of Vladimir Putin is nothing less than a (hopeful) return to a respect for national sovereignty. As a political conservative (in the Burkean sense) I very much appreciate his Bismarckian brilliance when applied in the international sphere.

In addition, as someone who appreciates Jackson’s nationalistic jealousy, I can see where the world could be a more peaceful place, not because Putin is an imperialist himself, but because he has successfully stood in the way of the Neoconservative vision of the uni-polar world.

Why do I say this? Because these United States in their present state cannot long sustain the present American hyper-hegemony. Thanks to demographic changes brought about by the Ruling Class, our nation is being hollowed out from the inside, turning into a Third World nation. This is plain to see. We are only five years behind Europe (if that). In the face of impending social collapse, the world’s dependence upon us could result in a new dark age. Thus it is my contention that because of Putin’s leadership, Russia is able to stand in the way of further consolidation of earthly power by the Neocons.

We shall see. In the meantime, please take the time to read this excellent essay.

Source: The Federalist

Putin-artBy certain traditional measures, Russian President Vladimir Putin is the pre-eminent statesman of his time. When he took power in the winter of 1999–2000, his defenseless and bankrupt country was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals. Much as Kemal Atatürk had done in Turkey seven decades earlier, Putin rescued a nation-state from the ruins of an empire and gave it coherence and purpose.

He disciplined his country’s unaccountable plutocrats, restored its military strength, and refused, with ever-blunter rhetoric, the subservient role in an American-run world system that foreign politicians and business leaders had drawn up for Russia. His voters credit him with having “saved his country.” So do many of his Russian detractors, although they worry he has stayed in power too long.

He is among the more popular democratically elected leaders in the civilized world and, incidentally, a hero to certain right-wing rebels against the international order, particularly in Europe. This is awkward for him and for them, since, unlike Atatürk, Putin has no programmatic ideology.


Read the entire article on The Federalist website.

About GShep


  1. Michael Galmukoff says

    Perhaps Trump, is our Putin? I see this as a positive thing

  2. Gregory Manning says

    Thanks, George. As someone who monitors the attitudes of the citizenry in the West toward Russia, I am gratified to see that people are increasingly disinclined to believe the MSM and the neo-conservatives’ usual characterizations of V. Putin and Russia. I would link to several great overviews of the actual Russian state of affairs and mind, but this recent one on Putin will do for now.

    Misha mentioned in a recent comment I am unable to locate that the ROC is developing an economic doctrine contrary to the current western capitalist model. He may be referring to this.

    • I knew it was coming but I hadn’t seen that article, which is excellent:


      Thanks, Gregory!

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        That article appeared on Facebook as well. It’s interesting to see REAL Sergianism at work even today. “liberal globalization, usury, dollar hegemony” Try to imagine St Patriarch Tikhon concerning himself with condemning political-ideological opponents of the government! Does today’s Russian Patriarchate EVER “speak truth to power?” No, it PARROTS the foreign policy of THE power in today’s Russia, V.Putin, Fuehrer in believer’s clothing.

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      ROC is developing an economic doctrine contrary to the current western capitalist model.

      How much money does Putin have again?

      It’s fine to have a, shall we say, professional respect for Putin’s strategic acumen. One does not have to be a Russophile to wish that the present occupant of the White House shared Putin’s grasp of strategic reality. Putin is also Orthodox, but ultimately his secular role is head of state of Russia. That should have us concerned as Americans (presumably the majority on this board), because the world is resource constrained and global influence is a zero-sum game.

      The Russian church is, ultimately, Russian. They might develop orthodox ideas of economics, but if those ideas clash with Putin’s political and personal agendas, expect the Russian church to target those ideas instead as ideological missiles against the West. It’s not surprising that the document emphasizes dismantling the very structures which advantage western-style economies. I’m fine with leaving those structures in place. I like living in the Pax Americana, or what’s left of it anyways. So I’ll take the Russian church as seriously as it takes transforming their own society.

      • “Pax Americana”

        You mean our perpetual state of national emergency and war throughout the world? Blank checks for the military industrial complex? Endless inflation?

        Yes, it is glorious.

      • “How much money does Putin have again?”

        Quite a bit, though I don’t know if he can compete with Trump. Yet he came from modest means. In any case, I’ve never bought the corrupt, crony politician mudsling, for this reason: All politicians are alpha types. Otherwise, they would not even seek the leadership position. Moreover, leading a nation state is not like leading a bible study. Life and death decisions and the stability and well-being of the state are on the table. One must be tough.

        Asking about Putin’s wealth misses the point about the effect he has had on the oligarchs and Western poachers. If he is heavily invested in Russia, Glory to God. If he associates and cooperates with people heavily invested in Russia, Glory to God. Poor people employ no one and have no earthly idea how to run a lemonade stand, much less an economy. The change in the economy from the 1990’s (unfortunately complicated by the price of oil and Western sanctions), the rebirth of the Church (which is dramatic) and the decline in abortion rates are a pretty good start.


      • Gregory Manning says

        “How much money does Putin have again?”

        Try this.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Thanks for the links. I have been very suspicious of Mr. Putin for a very long time. That said, the authors and sources that you cited are good ones and deserve to be read seriously.

  3. Something less than monarchy, something more than democracy.

    “Sovereign democracy” is essentially a representative government with a very strong executive who marshals a state directed press to promote national unity. It is not exactly the Russian Empire, but we live in a era where kings/sultans/caliphs only really rule in the Islamic world. It is similar to a constitutional monarchy with a legislature (the Duma) where the monarch retains executive powers and stands for election. What would you expect someone with expertise in the propaganda wing of KGB charged with monitoring Western Europe to construct? Makes perfect sense to me. Also, I don’t think it’s a particularly bad form of government though in time, of course, I would prefer a restoration of the monarchy.

    The author of the article punts regarding the political assassinations. When I ask myself cui bono?, my answer is not so obviously “Putin”. Putin is shrewd enough to use less dramatic and blameworthy means to control his adversaries. The gawdy murders strike me as something done by former FSB colleagues, loyal and resentful of Putin-detractors. There are many of them and they certainly have the skill sets necessary to make an omelet. They might think the satisfaction is worth the risk of making Putin look complicit. Some of them were “let go” in downsizing. Nonetheless, they see such journalists as being traitors. It’s part of the culture.

    I’m sure Putin is not exactly pressing for prosecutions though. It could also be Putin’s enemies trying to tarnish him. I don’t discount the possibility that it actually could be Putin, but I think he would have been shrewd enough to make it look like an accident or like someone else did it. Trust me, any attorney worth his salt and possessing an ocd strain could pull off a murder and never be suspected. You just create reasonable doubt by leaving evidence pointing to others, none toward yourself. I would expect nothing less from the former director of the Federal Security Service (FSB).

    The article really just reveals the tip of the iceberg. The West’s problem, if it chooses to make it so, is not Putin. It is Russia itself. Putin is simply an embodiment of his motherland. It is interesting, however, to note one telling fact: The article states that Putin was an open theist when theism wasn’t cool. That says something about the man’s character, as does his rise from modest means.

    Don’t get me wrong. By western standards, Putin is not a “nice guy”. But, honestly, I don’t like nice guys. I leave “nicety” to the fairer sex.

    • Pat Reardon says

      Misha asks, cui bono and responds “Putin.”

      Respectfully, there is a confusion here between two idiomatic expressions.

      Cui bono means “unto what benefit?” That is to say, “for what purpose?” The interrogative adjective cui modifies the dative substantive bono.

      The expression Misha needs here is cui bonum?—”unto whom is this a benefit?” Here cui is a dative personal pronoun (‘for whom”), and bonum is the subject. “Whom does this benefit?”

      Confusing the two expressions makes Putin a “good man” (bono), which I don’t think is what Misha wants to say.

      • Andrew Cuff says

        Father Patrick,

        I hate to correct you on this, but I fear I must defend Cato’s honor.

        The famous phrase “cui bono” does in fact mean “who benefits?”. It is essentially synonymous with phrases like “follow the money”.

        While your grammatical explanation would have been correct in a typical case, with cui bono we are dealing with something called a “double dative”. I hope you’ll be kind enough to Google that to save me the effort of typing in a full explanation.

        • Pat Reardon says

          Andrew, I am happy to be corrected relative to a point on which I have, apparently, been in error for roughly three-quoters of a century.

          • Monk James says

            Pat Reardon says: May 29, 2016 at 7:16 pm
            Andrew, I am happy to be corrected relative to a point on which I have, apparently, been in error for roughly three-quoters of a century.
            I’m with Fr Patrick on this one. He needs neither stand nor sit nor adjust his posture in any way to be corrected here.

            Those who are invoking a putative ‘double dative’ in order to make the latin phrase cui bono mean ‘to whose good/benefit?’ are betraying some lack of sophistication in the grammar of that ancient and beautiful language. Before going on, I’d like to point out that Latin writing has no question mark: questions are expressed by a particular syntax or word order, with or without proclitics, enclitics, and adverbs.

            First, let’s understand that in the declension of the interrogative pronoun quis/quis/quid, the dative singular form cui is the same for all three genders. In cui bono, the first word clearly modifies the second, and means only ‘to what benefit/good (end)?’

            If, as some suggest, the meaning were ‘to whose benefit/good (end), the question would have to be formed differently, probably with the generative case or with accusative forms assisted by a preposition. We would then have something like cuius ad bonum, a style well attested by Cicero’s rhetorical repetition of quem ad finem in one of his rants against Catalina which — as a schoolboy — I was required to memorize and declaim.

            I’m not certain, but I don’t think that Cicero had ever heard of a ‘double dative’, although there is such a thing in Greek, where it functions exactly like the ‘ablative absolute’ in Latin.

            ‘A little learning is dangerous….’ –Alexander Pope

            • Andrew Cuff says

              Dear Monk James,

              Respectfully, you’re incorrect on multiple counts.

              First, as a PhD student I have worked very extensively with medieval manuscripts. In several from the fourteenth century, written of course in Latin, I have personally observed the “?” Symbol used in an interrogative sense. Your classical Latin that you studied in school naturally would not have covered this.

              Now as to the double dative (if we’re going to have a nerd-off, I wish to give it my all). You are right that Cicero likely did not know the term double dative, but that’s only because he couldn’t have learned grammatical terms that were invented by Germans in the 19th century.

              If you will Google the term “double dative” you will find cui bono used in the Wiki article as an example. Dative of reference with dative of purpose. It feels clunky to us, but we musn’t impose our English senses on classical Latin, which had its own idioms.

              Furthermore, if you Google cui bono, you will find that once again Wiki is aware that the phrase is a double dative and has classical origins (I had thought it was Cato, but I was wrong…Cicero).

              Even Wikipedia.

              “A lot of learning keeps you safe from the dangerous people with a little learning.” –AC

              • George Michalopulos says

                Mr Cuff, I am no expert and thus, perhaps unwisely insert myself into this debate and come to Monk James’ defense. Having said that I’m sure that you did see the “?” mark in several 14th century mss. OK, here’s the tricky part for me: that being said, that does not mean that the “?” mark wasn’t a later invention. In the same way that “J”, “W”, “U/V”, and even “G” became part of the Latin alphabet.

                Think “Caius Iulius Caeser.”

                Honestly, I don’t know the provenance of the ? mark. In Greek for example, the semicolon (;) is the question mark.

                Anyway, my 2 cents.

                • Pat Reardon says

                  George remarks, “that does not mean that the “?” mark wasn’t a later invention.”

                  Considerations about the question mark here are not, I think, ad rem.

                  The question is whether or not the cui in cui bono modifies the bono.

                  All my life I have understood the expression that way, just as Father James has.

                  Indeed, I am confident that most people understand it that way.

                  The sense argued by Andrew Cuff is far more subtle. I do wish he had cited a source weightier than a google reference.

                  Father James, please, help us out. I have been reading Greek daily for 60 years, but I cannot think of a Greek “double dative” used the way you describe. An example would help, please. I am still trying to learn a thing or two before I pass on from this lacrimarum vallis.


                  • Monk James says

                    I hope Father Patrick hasn’t developed a headache seeking an example of the dative absolute in Homer!

                    It’s difficult to trace the origins of this syntax, but as the grammarian Smyth remarked, if I recall correctly, even before the classical period, the dative case had assumed the functions of the obsolete locative and instrumental cases over the centuries; languages change. By the first christian century, the dative absolute was well enough accepted that it found its way into the New Testament, a monument of hellenistic usage(s).

                    Since it came up just recently and it’s still fresh in my mind, I’ll adduce this one example so we can see how it works. At MT 8:23, we find kai embanti autOI eis to ploion (‘when/as He (Jesus) got into the boat’. Here, as is true for most ‘absolutes’, the participle and its subject form a temporal clause with its predicate (if there is one).

                    The genitive absolute remained in full force in the NT and other christian writings right through the byzantine era and beyond, but the dative absolute gathered such force that by the time (9th-10th centuries) when Old Church Slavonic’s grammar was being forged on greek models, OCS and the Church Slavonic which we have now came to use the dative absolute to the exclusion of nearly all others.

                    • Pat Reardon says

                      Father James writes, “At MT 8:23, we find kai embanti autOI eis to ploion (‘when/as He (Jesus) got into the boat’. Here, as is true for most ‘absolutes’, the participle and its subject form a temporal clause with its predicate (if there is one).”

                      This is very helpful, Father James.

                      I confess I had never read the text that way. Ι had always understood εμβαντι αυτωι as a simple apposition with the other αυτωι following ηκολυθησαν.

                      Indeed, Father, on other days I might have been disposed to argue the point—especially since I can’t find this “dative absolute” construction in my ancient (1887) copy of Goodwin—but now I see that my professor of many decades ago, Max Zerwick, agrees with you! (Analysis Philologica NT, ad hoc)

                      That settles the matter, as far as I am concerned. I wonder how many other uses of the dative I have missed through hardness of heart.

                      I bless you for following up on this matter, Father James.

                  • Andrew Cuff says


                    Sorry, it’s hard to link to “authoritative” sources on grammar. But Wikipedia is good because it’s constantly policed by dozens of Latin grammar Nazis for whom Latin is their whole life. Hopefully the link above gives you what you need. If not, type “double dative” in quotes into Google Books and you will find dozens of grammars describing it.

                    • Monk James says

                      I’m grateful to Fr Patrick Reardon for his kind acknowledgement.

                      Certainly, if Max Zerwick agrees with me, he must be right! [[;-)33

                      My prayers for yours, dear Father Pat.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  HUNH? ” I’m sure that you did see the “?” mark in several 14th century mss. OK, here’s the tricky part for me: that being said, that does not mean that the “?” mark wasn’t a later invention. “

                  • Andrew Cuff says

                    Monk James contended not that it was a later invention, but rather that it “did not exist in Latin writing.”

                • Andrew Cuff says

                  Monk James said: “Latin writing has no question mark.”

                  He didn’t specify “until the Xth century.”

                  This is a very common blind spot of those who have only ever studied so called “classical Latin” and think that its rules (the later approximations of 19th-century German grammarians) are “standard Latin” as opposed to the whims and style of a few 1st-century senators.

                  • Monk James says

                    Astonishing, just amazing.

                    I’d like to think that Andrew Cuff isn’t suggesting here that in all my years of latin studies I read nothing written after the classical era, but just in case he is tempted to make such gratuitous assumptions about me or any other scholar of the language, he should know that I studied the latin patristic authors in the original (when extant), both african and european, as well as the Benedictine and Franciscan sources and christian literature in general, including Aquinas and Anselm down through the 20th-century documents of Vatican ii. And a lot of political and commercial materials, too.

                    In the 1960s I earned the first honors in latin composition awarded in nearly thirty years at the RC-affiliated university where I was studying. As a result, I was asked to assist a few RC bishops. Not being an RC myself, I demurred, but I thoroughly enjoyed their little lexicons of amusing neologisms thought necessary to bridge the inevitable language gaps of V2’s documents and their subsequent discussions.

                    And I think that it would be decent of us to have some respect for native speakers of Latin, even the senators. The evolution of latin-flavored vernaculars often influenced the mother tongue in ways which would be completely unpalatable to the Romans and viewed as barbarous, but that process is traceable and well defined for the most part, and can be compared to classical norms without getting annoyed about it.

                    In a nutshell, the Carthusians would probably understand Cicero (at least in writing), but he’d likely have a hard time with their syntax.

              • Monk James says

                Andrew Cuff (June 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm) says (among other things):
                ‘“A lot of learning keeps you safe from the dangerous people with a little learning.” –AC’
                I’d prefer not to play the one-up game, but I think I owe it to Mr Cuff and to the readership to point out that I studied Latin for a dozen years, earning a degree in classical languages (both Latin and Greek) in the process, and also in slavic languages, ancient and modern. Armed with all that, I then went for a doctorate in patristics. I trust that this little scrap of vita satisfies his apothegmatic requirements and keeps our relative positions clear. I wish him well in his studies.

                George Michalopulos rightly notices that the use of the question mark in Classical Latin is an impossible anachronism. There were other symbols of emphasis and punctuation in both Greek and Latin, usually a combination of dots and short lines at various angles, in the earliest texts we have found to date — none of them from the classical period of either language.

                Adducing medieval latin texts is unhelpful here, since (even if they were faithful transcripts of classical material) they were produced a thousand or so years after their originals, and made use of the orthographic conventions of their own places and times.

                Wikipedia? WIKIPEEEEEEDIA?! Try quoting Wikipedia in an academic paper! Wikipedia is wrong in this matter, just as wrong as its sources hither and yon and others, too, who insist that ‘cui bono’ means ‘to/for WHOSE benefit/good’. Double Dative?! Ocule meus!

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  What degree did Monk James get in Greek and Latin? What OTHER degrees did Monk James get?

        • Pat Reardon says

          Ah, of course, it’s a dative of benefit combined with a dative of purpose.

          I repent in sackcloth, which is what comes of failing to check things out with Allen and Greenough before commenting.

          Thank you, Andrew, for this opportunity to repent before the end.

          • Grumpy Old Man says

            The Bolshevik version is, of course, cruder: кто кого–“Who whom?” I.e., “Who is to be master.”

      • Father Patrick,

        I was merely using the expression used in the article. And I suggested that Putin actually was somewhat tarnished by the behavior in question rather than benefiting.

  4. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Putin, like Trump and others, makes the man who feels inadequate feel adequate. It’s got nothing to do with politics, government, economics, but the need to feel effective, even if vicariously. Some were converted the first time he bared his chest. He restored what was lost to the inadequate man’s self-concept when an aristocratic black man moved into the White House.

    • I don’t think it was a matter of him being aristocratic or black. It was a matter of him being weak, apologetic, and effeminate. A country’s leader should be effective.

      • Cynthia Sprong says

        I agree most heartily with Ages.

      • Diogenes says

        You left out condescending, arrogant, narcissistic, and petulant.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Diogenes, in his condescending, arrogant, narcissistic and petulant post, left out twice-elected and most admired man in the world!

          • Rymlianin says

            Every country has the government it deserves.Joseph de Maistre:

          • As if popular election or the admiration of this world proves anything . . . .

          • Mary E. Jiptus says

            Of course he’s admired by people around the world. He is weakening America, thereby increasing other countries’ relative strength.

    • Gregory Manning says

      My take differs Vladyka. I would say that Putin, like Trump, makes the man who feels powerless in the face of the rising tide of PajamaBoy-ism feel like there’s a better than slim chance someone will defend his right to keep his nads.
      As far as Putin running around shirtless, I doubt it appealed to many gay men. Gay men, who value youth and beauty above all else (money runs a close second) are generally repelled by anything that reminds them of what ageing does to the human body. So the appeal must have been to straight men who are notoriously bad judges of aesthetic beauty.

    • “Aristocratic?” He is a complete total dyed in the wool Dem-Lib-Prog. Rabid pro-abortionist. The abortionist agenda worldwide has expanded exponentially under his terms of presidency. Of course all the myriads of laws and judges advancing all gay trans-gender activisms and secular humanist activisms worldwide. All the disasters in the Middle East under his “aristocracy” and his “aristocratic” Sec. State Hillary and subsequently the Islamic invasions of Europe and the mushrooming of ISIS and all their atrocities. All the race riots, Wall Street Fed bailouts, Obamacare and IRS mandates, all the lies, list goes on and on and on. Yet you do not see NONE of that. All you can do is only look at one thing, his skin color, and assume there is nothing else, and everyone only judges him on that and not the complete total disaster of his two terms of presidency, the war against Christianity he constantly wages not always entirely outwardly plain and open for all to see however in many ways that are more or less thinly disguised. Like any good Dem-Lib-Prog you support him pretty much principally entirely just only on that one basis alone his race or the one half of it. Then in your complete total prejudicial bias assume anyone opposed to him it would have nothing to do with all his disastrous and destructive policies and everything else, all his “activisms” however just because of his half race only. You are wrong.

      • Cynthia Sprong says

        Brilliantly said, and right on the money, Cy.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Putin restored what was lost to the inadequate man’s self-concept after an aristocratic black man, Christian, constitutional law scholar, was elected twice to be the President of the United States and became “the most admired person in the world.”

        [I LOVED this desperately over-long string of modifiers: “pretty much principally entirely just only on that one basis alone …” It preceded a sentence of total gibberish, although to Cynthia it was “brilliantly said! “

        • He also won the Nobel peace prize, before expanding our bellicose presence in the world beyond what Cheney could have ever imagined, all while being a tactical fool.

          He was only admired insofar as he was an empty vessel for people’s dreams. And then reality happened.

          Yes, his drone warfare and double tap policy is winning hearts and minds throughout the Middle East! (to the ranks of ISIS)

        • “Christian”? …. are you the same kind of “christian” as Barrack? Your theology and that of Rev. Wright’s alike? When at Barrack’s inauguration the “pastor” invoked “Issa” the Muslim “Jesus” all the same for you? When Obama spoke at a couple of Catholic universities one of them Georgetown and they boarded up IHS at his podium thats ok because he is so “admired”?

          You must be entirely ignorant of all the many things that the many Church Fathers have warned us on about “end times.” When you speak of him being “admired” by all of the world over guess what, anti-christ likewise will be admired and even more so. As far as “gibberish” goes your very educated manner of expression thats just your cop-out when all you ever have in your posts are never ending cliches of the liberal left you routinely toss out as truisms. Your “punctuation” and frequent “typos” are just actually typos you leave alone since “you know what you want to say” anyway. Read some Church Fathers and Eschatology. Your mindset is completely locked into the “spirit of the times.” Oh, and “constitutional law scholar”? Seriously, is that some kind of joke? Obama and “Constitutional Law” is like like the Three Stooges doing the plumbing.

      • Well said. Need to say all this more and often.

      • Cynthia mae Curran says

        Yeah, but I think both Trump and Putin are demagogues that worked on people’s fear. At least Putin had a political background. Trump bribed people and insults anyone that crosses his path.I think Christians should not think political leaders solved all the problems.

        • Cynthia,

          This is true. We want government to wet nurse us. That’s an unreasonable expectation. But bear in mind, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It is necessary for those who really don’t understand at all to have a little fear to keep them from doing stupid stuff. Putin understands his people pretty well. Some are savvy and some are not so savvy. But what the West has to try to understand if they want to relate well with Russia and its leader is that Russians are fierce people and both the people and their leadership are well aware of this incontrovertible fact. It is not like America or Canada.

          America was founded by landed aristocracy and the government here was designed to be run by such people holding some version of Protestant Christianity as their moral standard. All that is gone now. Now, we too are in the position where we have a lot of people who are not refined enough to make responsible decisions. In that climate, an alpha personality is essential because the demos will follow no other.

          Russians have never had a representative government except for about 7 months in 1917. It was so weak it was toppled in an almost bloodless coup. The Civil War that resulted cost many lives, but the initial revolution was “picking up power laying in the streets”.

          Not everyone values factions and division. Orthodox peoples are much more prone toward a unity style government with a strong central government and strong executive. Russians want a strong leader that shares their values: Orthodoxy, Unity, Strength. They want to prosper but materiality is not necessarily uppermost in their minds. Identity is more important. They want to know and maintain who they are. Thankfully, the Church has stepped into the vacuum created by the collapse of communism and lead them to know who they are, to provide them with identity. And thankfully, that identity is decidedly Orthodox. They may not observe it, but an overwhelming majority identify it as their base of reference. Thus Putin’s popularity. Bear in mind that Russian history is essentially a textbook recipe for PTSD. They have little stomach for foolishness.

  5. Mark E. Fisus says

    It’s possible to have a, shall we say, professional respect for Vladimir Putin’s strategic acumen while remaining loyal Americans. Putin might be Orthodox, but he also has a secular role as the head of the Russian state, and the world is resource constrained and global influence is a zero-sum game. That’s something we need to keep an eye on as Americans.

    It’s a nice read, but those are the same conclusions which anyone with any sense would come to. There’s not much we can learn from Putin. We already have foreign policy realists and people who are not beta b-tches like the current occupant in the White House. They’re called Republicans. We just need to elect one this November.

  6. Michael Bauman says

    Your Grace, your description of our President is delusional. Cy’s description while too frothy for my taste is more accurate.

    There is at least a possible connection to Obama’s hedonist agenda and how badly we are thought of my Muslims.

  7. Alan Hampton says

    Putin is a murderer. He is a KGB manipulator who rules Russia with his corrupt cronies. His support for the ROC is just another control factor for the KGB. “Religion, the opiate of the people.” There is NOTHING honorable about Putin. “Remember Nemtsov – Shoot Putin!”

    • So the denouncer of murder, with no evidence, encourages political assassination. Tasty.

  8. Gail Sheppard says

    Clinton said something yesterday that even a few Republicans support: “Putin contends ethnic Russians in Ukraine need to be protected. That’s what Hitler did when he maintained ethnic Germans outside Germany in places such as Czechoslovakia and Romania were not being treated right and needed to be protected.” – Putin is not a “place holder.” He’s a “history maker” and that scares me a little.

    • And Hitler was a vegetarian, which makes me tremble at the thought of the SPCA.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        It seems Vladimir Poutine and Hitler have more in common than I knew. 😉