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shikarnov

OT - Putin is Time's Person of the Year

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
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Does anybody have any thoughts about Time's having made President Putin "Person of the Year 2007"?

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/per...1690766,00.html

In spite of all the saber rattling, I find it hard to begrudge the guy. I saw how pumped up people were during elections, and talked with people who were enthusiastically voting for the first time in their lives this December -- for "План Путина" (Putin's Plan). Seems people love the guy, and they support the reforms he's made, and genuinely want them to continue.

So what do you all think? Is he the new "Tzar" as Time claims? Is he worthy of the same dubious honor that Hitler was in 1939? Is this all just Western propaganda? A fluff piece? Something completely different? Better? Worse?

And, of course, how do you all think recent developments, and those yet to come in Russia will impact our lives and those of our significant others...

Z

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
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Hitler was once Time's man of the year also. Doesn't really say much. And all I've got to say about that is...Boooooooooooooo!!!


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Agreed with Jason. I heard an interview with a Time editor, who basically said that the "Person of the Year" designation isn't an endorsement of who they are or what they do, but is only an acknowledgment that they did stuff that's impacted the world in a big way.

Yeltsin tried to run a "freedom before order" Russia, and it almost destroyed the country. Without having the proper infrastructure and reforms in place, the shift towards capitalism completely wrecked the economy. Putin took the opposite approach: "order before freedom." Towards that end he's managed to get back a lot of the control that Yeltsin gave up, which has allowed the economy to recover. He's managed to slow or stop Russia's backslide into oblivion (or at least delay it), but it's exacted a huge price. A lot of the old Soviet style controls are starting to come back into play again, corruption is even more rampant, and one only need look at Kasparov's failed run for the Presidency to see just how much control Putin and his party have over not just the government but the whole electoral process. Putin made sure Kasparov never had a chance, and it was obvious in a way that shows just how much he really doesn't give a shite what the West or anyone else thinks of him.

I still remember when Bush said, while standing next to Putin "I looked the man in the eye...I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country." I had to laugh. If anyone could really look into Putin's soul I think they'd be sobbing in a straight jacket in a little rubber room for the rest of their life. I don't think Russia's had a leader since Stalin that has been so dangerous and yet so loved by the people. It's bizarre.

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Well, I found the article enlightening. I generally don't think of Putin as either a Stalin or a Tzar. Actually, in many ways, I tend to think we could use somebody of his conviction and strength in the US. Without question, Putin has a mission -- some of it's personal, I'm sure -- but he's unquestionably done a lot for Russia in the past eight years. I do worry about the increasing tensions that's coincided with Russia's resurgence, but I don't think that [tension] has been a result of President Putin's decisions, so much as President Bush's.

I also agree with Mox and Jason that freedom before order was a mistake -- but I also am not entirely convinced that Russia wants (or needs) a Western style "democracy" or financial system... In many ways, politics in the US is at least as paralyzed by overzealous notions of political correctness and morality as Russia's is by corruption.

Among my favorite parts of this article, however, were the personal touches -- like President Putin never having used email. That made me smile, and think about some of my older relatives and friends. And I loved the joke about Bush and the mosquitoes. The article wasn't nearly as negative as I expected when I began reading, and it does a good job of presenting the facts of Putin's presidency - positive and negative. And for whatever it's worth, I thought Putin's "bye bye" signoff was priceless :)

Z

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Russia
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Found this to be a very interesting article

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...1101833_pf.html


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It seems to me that most Russians are comfortable with a sense of order the way most Americans are comfortable with being able to live in a big house, drive a big SUV, and shop at Wal-Mart.

We'll both complain all day about the system and what's wrong with the government but when it comes right down to it, we take solace in the fact that it is the way it is and it's going to continue that way.

Putin seems to be "leading" Russia the way most Russians are comfortable having their leader lead them. They still want to be viewed as a strong state that has power and global influence. They also want things back home to be a certain way and as said above, without the strong(er) central government it's just not possible.

Personally, I think Putin is about as good a President as Bush with the exceptions being Putin is a long-term strategist and is actually helping his country with a classic Russian style of "yeah we're doing it like that, so what?" as opposed to Bush's "we're doing that to benefit you... not us. It's to make the world a better place, not to line my buddies pockets."

Putin is a strong leader if nothing else. He's going to be a good PM and will probably be an even better President next time around.


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