latest articles on russia by nytimes

Monday, April 16, 2007

Putin's Weekend (Just like Ceasar!)

Not to be bothered by the OMON beating down crowds of old ladies and reporters, Putin went to the mixed fighting championship held in St.Petersburg during the weekend. There he was joined by the "Muscles from Brussels" Mr.Bi-polar Jean Claude Van Damme and ex-prime minister of Italy Berlusconi! What a night!

Who cares about your citizens when there's a good fight in your home town!

- " It's so delightful that you guys don't take all this fighting too seriously! I could never lose like this and live with myself..... If only my citizens were as forgiving..."

It would be a mistake to expect a repetition of Ukraine's Orange Revolution on the streets of Moscow quite yet. But as the Putin presidency becomes ever more aggressive abroad, however, at home it seems increasingly paranoid. And the more paranoid a dictator becomes, the bigger the mistakes he tends to make. Those who lose their grip on reality soon lose their hold on power. For the first time since he came to office, Mr. Putin looks as if he too could be losing his grip.

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