Opinion Columns & Blogs

January 5, 2013

William J. Dobson: Adoption ban shows how puny Putin is now

Few modern authoritarians are more image-conscious than Vladimir Putin. For 12 years, we have been treated to the macho displays of the Russian leader as action hero/adventurer: the judo black belt, the shirtless outdoorsman, the deep-sea diver, the motorcycle enthusiast and, most recently, the (slightly softer) supposed savior to a flock of endangered cranes. Less well-known is how carefully scripted Putin’s appearance on Russian television can be, with regime spin doctors dictating media coverage down to the minute. The Kremlin is probably a more poll-driven institution than anything you’ll find in Washington, D.C.

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