You want to know who Putin is? Then this is a must read….otherwise you really don’t want to know who Putin is.

Sharon Tennison

Sharon Tennison is the creator of Center of Citizen Initiatives. In the early 1980’s she formed an organization with the objective of helping to ease the tension between Russia and the US. She enlisted a growing roster of businesses and professional Americans in a decision to try their hands at diplomacy between the two superpowers and then set off to the “land of the enemy”.

For the past 30 years: Her observing, analyzing, and intimacy with Russian business, education, citizens, politics, and culture have afforded her insights that render the opinions of any Secretary of State, POTUS, or any American who is spoon fed the pablum provided by the MSM….null and void.

Long read?  Very.   Boring?  Absolutely Not!




by Sharon Tennison

APRIL 21, 2014

Friends and colleagues, 

As the Ukraine situation has worsened, unconscionable misinformation and hype is being poured on Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Journalists and pundits must scour the Internet and thesauruses to come up with fiendish new epithets to describe both. 

Wherever I make presentations across America, the first question ominously asked during Q&A is always,  “What about Putin?”

It’s time to share my thoughts which follow:

Putin obviously has his faults and makes mistakes.  Based on my earlier experience with him, and the experiences of trusted people, including U.S. officials who have worked closely with him over a period of years, Putin most likely is a straight, reliable and exceptionally inventive man. He is obviously a long-term thinker and planner and has proven to be an excellent analyst and strategist. He is a leader who can quietly work toward his goals under mounds of accusations and myths that have been steadily leveled at him since he became Russia’s second president. 

I’ve stood by silently watching the demonization of Putin grow since it began in the early 2000s –– I pondered on computer my thoughts and concerns, hoping eventually to include them in a book (which was published in 2011). The book explains my observations more thoroughly than this article. Like others who have had direct experience with this little known man, I’ve tried to no avail to avoid being labeled a “Putin apologist”.  If one is even neutral about him, they are considered “soft on Putin” by pundits, news hounds and average citizens who get their news from CNN, Fox and MSNBC. 

I don’t pretend to be an expert, just a program developer in the USSR and Russia for the past 30 years.  But during this time, I’ve have had far more direct, on-ground contact with Russians of all stripes across 11 time zones than any of the Western reporters or for that matter any of Washington’s officials.  I’ve been in country long enough to ponder Russian history and culture deeply, to study their psychology and conditioning, and to understand the marked differences between American and Russian mentalities which so complicate our political relations with their leaders.  As with personalities in a family or a civic club or in a city hall, it takes understanding and compromise to be able to create workable relationships when basic conditionings are different.  Washington has been notoriously disinterested in understanding these differences and attempting to meet Russia halfway.

In addition to my personal experience with Putin, I’ve had discussions with numerous American officials and U.S. businessmen who have had years of experience working with him––I believe it is safe to say that none would describe him as “brutal” or “thuggish”, or the other slanderous adjectives and nouns that are repeatedly used in western media. 

I met Putin years before he ever dreamed of being president of Russia, as did many of us working in St.Petersburg during the 1990s. Since all of the slander started, I’ve become nearly obsessed with understanding his character.  I think I’ve read every major speech he has given (including the full texts of his annual hours-long telephone “talk-ins” with Russian citizens). I’ve been trying to ascertain whether he has changed for the worse since being elevated to the presidency, or whether he is a straight character cast into a role he never anticipated––and is using sheer wits to try to do the best he can to deal with Washington under extremely difficult circumstances.  If the latter is the case, and I think it is, he should get high marks for his performance over the past 14 years.  It’s not by accident that Forbes declared him the most Powerful Leader of 2013, replacing Obama who was given the title for 2012. The following is my one personal experience with Putin.

The year was 1992: It was two years after the implosion of communism; the place was St.Petersburg.  For years I had been creating programs to open up relations between the two countries and hopefully to help Soviet people to get beyond their entrenched top-down mentalities.  A new program possibility emerged in my head. Since I expected it might require a signature from the Marienskii City Hall, an appointment was made. My friend Volodya Shestakov and I showed up at a side door entrance to the Marienskii building. We found ourselves in a small, dull brown office, facing a rather trim nondescript man in a brown suit.  He inquired about my reason for coming in.  After scanning the proposal I provided he began asking intelligent questions.  After each of my answers, he asked the next relevant question. I became aware that this interviewer was different from other Soviet bureaucrats who always seemed to fall into chummy conversations with foreigners with hopes of obtaining bribes in exchange for the Americans’ requests.  CCI stood on the principle that we would never, never give bribes. This bureaucrat was open, inquiring, and impersonal in demeanor.  After more than an hour of careful questions and answers, he quietly explained that he had tried hard to determine if the proposal was legal, then said that unfortunately at the time it was not.  A few good words about the proposal were uttered. That was all.  He simply and kindly showed us to the door.  Out on the sidewalk, I said to my colleague, “Volodya, this is the first time we have ever dealt with a Soviet bureaucrat who didn’t ask us for a trip to the US or something valuable!”  I remember looking at his business card in the sunlight––it read Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. 

1994: U.S. Consul General Jack Gosnell put in an SOS call to me in St.Petersburg. He had 14 Congress members and the new American Ambassador to Russia, Thomas Pickering, coming to St.Petersburg in the next three days. He needed immediate help. I scurried over to the Consulate and learned that Jack intended me to brief this auspicious delegation and the incoming ambassador.  I was stunned but he insisted.  They were coming from Moscow and were furious about how U.S. funding was being wasted there.  Jack wanted them to hear  the”good news” about CCI’s programs that were showing fine results.  In the next 24 hours Jack and I also set up “home” meetings in a dozen Russian entrepreneurs’ small apartments for the arriving dignitaries (St.Petersburg State Department people were aghast, since it had never been done before––but Jack overruled). Only later in 2000, did I learn of Jack’s former three-year experience with Vladimir Putin in the 1990s while the latter was running the city for Mayor Sobchak. More on this further down. 

December 31, 1999: With no warning, at the turn of the year, President Boris Yeltsin made the announcement to the world that from the next day forward he was vacating his office and leaving Russia in the hands of an unknown Vladimir Putin.  On hearing the news, I thought surely not the Putin I remembered––he could never lead Russia.  The next day a NYT article included a photo. Yes, it was the same Putin I’d met years ago!  I was shocked and dismayed, telling friends, “This is a disaster for Russia, I’ve spent time with this guy,  he is too introverted and too intelligent––he will never be able to relate to Russia’s masses.”  Further, I lamented:

 “For Russia to get up off of its knees, two things must happen:  1) The arrogant young oligarchs have to be removed by force from the Kremlin, and 2)  A way must be found to remove the regional bosses (governors) from their fiefdoms across Russia’s 89 regions”.  It was clear to me that the man in the brown suit would never have the instincts or guts to tackle Russia’s overriding twin challenges.”

February 2000:  Almost immediately Putin began putting Russia’s oligarchs on edge.  In February a question about the oligarchs came up; he clarified with a question and his answer: “What should be the relationship with the so-called oligarchs?  The same as anyone else. The same as the owner of a small bakery or a shoe repair shop.”  This was the first signal that the tycoons would no longer be able to flaunt government regulations or count on special access in the Kremlin. It also made the West’s capitalists nervous. After all, these oligarchs were wealthy untouchable businessmen––good capitalists, never mind that they got their enterprises illegally and were putting their profits in offshore banks. 

Four months later Putin called a meeting with the oligarchs and gave them his deal:  They could keep their  illegally-gained wealth-producing Soviet enterprises and they would not be nationalized ….  IF taxes were paid on their revenues and if they personally stayed out of politics. This was the first of Putin’s “elegant solutions” to the near impossible challenges facing the new Russia.  But the deal also put Putin in crosshairs with US media and officials who then began to champion the oligarchs, particularly Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The latter became highly political, didn’t pay taxes, and prior to being apprehended and jailed was in the process of selling a major portion of Russia’s largest private oil company, Yukos Oil, to Exxon Mobil. Unfortunately, to U.S. media and governing structures, Khodorkovsky became a martyr (and remains so up to today). 

March 2000: I arrived in St.Petersburg. A Russian friend (a psychologist) since 1983 came for our usual visit.  My first question was, “Lena what do you think about your new president?”  She laughed and retorted, “Volodya!  I went to school with him!”  She began to describe Putin as a quiet youngster, poor, fond of martial arts, who stood up for kids being bullied on the playgrounds. She remembered him as a patriotic youth who applied for the KGB prematurely after graduating secondary school (they sent him away and told him to get an education).  He went to law school, later reapplied and was accepted.  I must have grimaced at this, because Lena said, “Sharon in those days we all admired the KGB and believed that those who worked there were patriots and were keeping the country safe. We thought it was natural for Volodya to choose this career.  My next question was,  “What do you think he will do with Yeltsin’s criminals in the Kremlin?”   Putting on her psychologist hat,  she pondered and replied,  “If left to his normal behaviors, he will watch them for a while to be sure what is going on, then he will throw up some flares to let them know that he is watching. If they don’t respond, he will address them personally, then if the behaviors don’t change–– some will be in prison in a couple of  years.”  I congratulated her via email when her predictions began to show up in real time.  

Throughout the 2000’s:  St.Petersburg’s many CCI alumni were being interviewed to determine how the PEP business training program was working and how we could make the U.S. experience more valuable for their new small businesses. Most believed that the program had been enormously important, even life changing. Last, each was asked,  “So what do you think of your new president?”  None responded negatively, even though at that time entrepreneurs hated Russia’s bureaucrats.  Most answered similarly,  “Putin registered my business a few years ago”.  Next question, “So, how much did it cost you?”  To a person they replied, “Putin didn’t charge anything”.  One said,  “We went to Putin’s desk because the others providing registrations at the Marienskii were getting ‘rich on their seats.'”

Late 2000:  Into Putin’s first year as Russia’s president, US officials seemed to me to be suspect that he would be antithetical to America’s interests––his every move was called into question in American media.  I couldn’t understand why and was chronicling these happenings in my computer and newsletters.

Year 2001: Jack Gosnell (former USCG mentioned earlier) explained his relationship with Putin when the latter was deputy mayor of St.Petersburg. The two of them worked closely to create joint ventures and other ways to promote relations between the two countries.  Jack related that Putin was always straight up, courteous and helpful. When Putin’s wife, Ludmila, was in a severe auto accident, Jack took the liberty (before informing Putin) to arrange hospitalization and airline travel for her to get medical care in Finland.  When Jack told Putin, he reported that the latter was overcome by the generous offer,  but ended saying that he couldn’t accept this favor, that Ludmila would have to recover in a Russian hospital. She did––although medical care in Russia was abominably bad in the 1990s.

A senior CSIS officer I was friends with in the 2000s worked closely with Putin on a number of joint ventures during the 1990s. He reported that he had no dealings with Putin that were questionable, that he respected him and believed he was getting an undeserved dour reputation from U.S. media.  Matter of fact, he closed the door at CSIS when we started talking about Putin. I guessed his comments wouldn’t be acceptable if others were listening.

Another former U.S. official who will go unidentified, also reported working closely with Putin, saying there was never any hint of  bribery, pressuring, nothing but respectable behaviors and helpfulness.

I had two encounters in 2013 with State Department officials regarding Putin:

At the first one, I felt free to ask the question I had previously yearned to get answered:  “When did Putin become unacceptable to Washington officials and why?  Without hesitating the answer came back:  “‘The knives were drawn’ when it was announced that Putin would be the next president.”  I questioned WHY?  The answer: “I could never find out why––maybe because he was KGB.”  I offered that Bush #I, was head of the CIA.  The reply was,  “That would have made no difference, he was our guy.” 

The second was a former State Department official with whom I recently shared a radio interview on Russia.  Afterward when we were chatting,  I remarked, “You might be interested to know that  I’ve collected experiences of Putin from numerous people, some over a period of years, and they all say they had no negative experiences with Putin and there was no evidence of taking bribes”.  He firmly replied,  “No one has ever been able to come up with a bribery charge against Putin.” 

From 2001 up to today: I’ve watched the negative U.S. media mounting against Putin …. even accusations of assassinations, poisonings, and comparing him to Hitler. No one yet has come up with any concrete evidence for these allegations. During this time,  I’ve traveled throughout Russia several times every year, and have watched the country slowly change under Putin’s watch. Taxes were lowered, inflation lessened, and laws slowly put in place. Schools and hospitals began improving. Small businesses were growing, agriculture was showing improvement, and stores were becoming stocked with food. Alcohol challenges were less obvious, smoking was banned from buildings, and life expectancy began increasing.  Highways were being laid across the country, new rails and modern trains appeared even in far out places, and the banking industry was becoming dependable. Russia was beginning to look like a decent country –– certainly not where Russians hoped it to be long term, but improving incrementally for the first time in their memories.

My 2013/14 Trips to Russia:  In addition to St.Petersburg and Moscow, in September I traveled out to the Ural Mountains, spent time in Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk and Perm.  We traveled between cities via autos and rail––the fields and forests look healthy, small towns sport new paint and construction. Today’s Russians look like Americans (we get the same clothing from China). Old concrete Khrushchev block houses are giving way to new multi-story private residential complexes which are lovely. High-rise business centers, fine hotels and great restaurants are now common place––and ordinary Russians frequent these places. Two and three story private homes rim these Russian cities far from Moscow.  We visited new museums, municipal buildings and huge super markets.  Streets are in good repair, highways are new and well marked now, service stations looks like those dotting American highways. In January I went to Novosibirsk out in Siberia where similar new architecture was noted. Streets were kept navigable with constant snowplowing, modern lighting kept the city bright all night, lots of new traffic lights (with seconds counting down to light change) have appeared. It is astounding to me how much progress Russia has made in the past 14 years since an unknown man with no experience walked into Russia’s presidency and took over a country that was flat on its belly.

So why do our leaders and media demean and demonize Putin and Russia???

Like Lady macBeth, do they protest too much?

Psychologists tell us that people (and countries?)  project off on others what they don’t want to face in themselves.  Others carry our “shadow”when we refuse to own it.  We confer on others the very traits that we are horrified to acknowledge in ourselves.

Could this be why we constantly find fault with Putin and Russia?

Could it be that we project on to Putin the sins of ourselves and our leaders?

Could it be that we condemn Russia’s corruption, acting like the corruption within our corporate world doesn’t exist?

Could it be that we condemn their human rights and LGBT issues, not facing the fact that we haven’t solved our own?

Could it be that we accuse Russia of “reconstituting the USSR”––because of what we do to remain the world’s  “hegemon”?

Could it be that we project nationalist behaviors on Russia, because that is what we have become and we don’t want to face it?

Could it be that we project warmongering off on Russia, because of what we have done over the past several administrations? 


Some of you were around Putin in the earlier years.  Please share your opinions, pro and con …. confidentiality will be assured. It’s important to develop a composite picture of this demonized leader and get the record straight.  I’m quite sure that 99% of those who excoriate him in mainstream media have had no personal contact with him at all. They write articles on hearsay, rumors and fabrication, or they read scripts others have written on their tele-prompters.  This is how our nation gets its “news”, such as it is.

There is a well known code of ethics among us: Is it the Truth, Is it Fair, Does it build Friendship and Goodwill, and Will it be Beneficial for All Concerned? 

It seems to me that if our nation’s leaders would commit to using these four principles in international relations, the world would operate in a completely different manner, and human beings across this planet would live in better conditions than they do today.


  1. I was going to add a thought to this post before it was posted but missed the timing. I’ll just add it now.

    Prior to finding this speech by Sharon Tennison I had a guarded respect and admiration for Vlad.

    Now I think I’m falling in love.



  2. That’s not really that long of an article. Easy read.Great anecdotes.

    Simply a fantastic article. (And the rest of the web site ain’t bad either).

    I just might write-in Putin in the next US election.

  3. T4C

    The article is accurate. The smears against Putin are unfounded.

    Understand this …… Putin is an ultra-nationalist. He is Russian to the core, and Russians LOVE strong leaders. Everything he does, he perceives to be of benefit to Russia. His people agree.

    That’s all you need to know about Putin, his mindset, and Russia today.

  4. Just an excellent piece!

    “My next question was, “What do you think he will do with Yeltsin’s criminals in the Kremlin?” Putting on her psychologist hat, she pondered and replied, “If left to his normal behaviors, he will watch them for a while to be sure what is going on, then he will throw up some flares to let them know that he is watching. If they don’t respond, he will address them personally, then if the behaviors don’t change–– some will be in prison in a couple of years.” I congratulated her via email when her predictions began to show up in real time.”

    He also stuck up for the kids who were being bullied at school. And so far no one has come forward to say he’s taken any bribes. Sounds like a great leader. Our politicians should be taking notes.

  5. Drudgereport this morning ——– “Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an order to the Federal Security Service to strengthen protection of the country’s border with Ukraine to prevent people crossing illegally, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday.”

    Wow. Closing a border to stop illegals. What a novel fucking idea.

    Update from The Saker. Smaller Uke villages are being flattened by artillery. Wounded soldiers are being murdered in hospitals. People are soaking horse-feed in water to eat.


    Poroshenko’s message to Novorossiia and Russia

    Poroshenko’s inauguration speech has sent a message to Novorossiia and Russia:

    No federalization
    No state status for the Russian language
    No recognition of the Novorossian political leadership
    Full and unconditional surrender of the Novorossian Defense Forces
    Crimea will forever belong to the Ukraine.

    He could not have been any clearer: that is basically a declaration of war and an ultimatum. This is also a full endorsement of the “Banderastan project”.

    Clearly, the US has prevailed over the hoplessly spineless EU leaders like Merkel or Hollande and the AngloZionists will have their way.

    I must leave my computer for the next 12 hours and I cannot write a full analysis of Poroshenko’s decision to fully follow the US line, but I will say that two things appear inevitable now: a Russian military intervention in Novorossia followed by the Cold War v2 the AngloZionists wanted so badly. Up until this moment the European colonies still had a chance to avoid a future which will hurt them much more than it will hurt the US or Russia, but they could not even muster the willpower to protect their own vital interests.

    I am disgusted beyond words.

    The Saker

  6. First of all, I love the feel-happy oom-pah tune of the Chicken Dance …. a misnomer, the song originated in Switzerland in the 1950’s and the correct translation is ‘Duck Dance”.

    Second, I don’t make many guarantees, but …….. I guarantee that AWD WILL LOVE THIS VIDEO!!

  7. “Putin is an ultra-nationalist. He is Russian to the core, and Russians LOVE strong leaders. Everything he does, he perceives to be of benefit to Russia. His people agree.”

    How about Obama?

    “Obama is an ultra-anti-nationalist, a socialist cum communist. He is Muslim to the core, and Americans love weak leaders. Everything he does, he perceives to be of American destruction. His people agree”

  8. Last video.

    I think this one is an excellent portrayal of who Putin is …. Russia’s Every Man. A few things I see;

    1) Where’s the teleprompter?

    2) Where are the body guards?? I suppose they’re there somewhere, but I don’t see where. Wherever Oreo goes you see the Secret Service goonfuks with their dark glasses, scowls, and bulging jackets never more than a few feet away. Lots of ’em. Putin’s walking around in open air and large crowds literally bumping into him. I guess he feels comfortable that no one wants to kill him …. unlike the fucker running this joint.

    3) Is that smile and camaraderie with the people genuine, or not?? Forgot the politics for a second, but Putin’s sincerity reminds me of Ronald Reagan.

    4) He surely seems to love his countrymen … and they surely seem to love him.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah …. this could all be a staged Commie photo-op propaganda piece. But, I don’t think so.

    Hey, Russian peeps! You wanna trade leaders??

  9. Putin is loved by his people, in equal measure to how much Obama is hated by Americans. Even blacks can’t stand his mulatto ass anymore. Putin stands for the gain of his country, and Obama stands for the destruction of the USSA. Putin has brought Russia into global leadership status, and Obama has created the post-American era of economic, moral, global destruction of everything our country once stood for.

  10. “Video rocks. The song when Vlad takes center stage is called “Ameno” by [Era]:” — T4C

    Awesome. I was wondering about that song. Absolutely. Beautiful. Thank you for letting us know!

    There are several youtube vids. In keeping with the current theme …. I really like this one, as sung by the Red Army Choir.

    Simply. Beautiful.

  11. “Understand this …… Putin is an ultra-nationalist. He is Russian to the core, ….. Everything he does, he perceives to be of benefit to Russia.” ———– SSS

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  12. O.M.G. Stucky, my head is spinning from the Ameno video. On behalf of Vlad and Russia (because I can), thanks for posting that, I’ll be playing it several times today.

  13. The USSA and Europe have swallowed the liberal progressive cyanide pill of diversity and multi-culturalism, and have become bankrupt, insolvent socialist welfare states. Russia and China, on the other hand, don’t allow immigration of worthless third-world welfare dependents with sub 80 IQ’s. And so Russia and China are taking over the world, and we’re slipping into economic and moral collapse, as is Europe. A few simple decisions can change the entire course of history and nations, and we’ve made all the WRONG decisions. We will be paying the price for the rest of history.

  14. Russia and China have little fear of the USSA anymore. Reagan help bankrupt the former Soviet Union, but they’ve risen like a Phoenix. Meanwhile, Reagan’s American is gone, replaced by Obama’s post-American socialist/communist fascist police state. Amazing how thing turn out isn’t it?


  15. I wont deny Putin is competent in doing what he wants to do. However stating that he is completely on the level is ridiculous. There is plenty of evidence of his abuses of the Russian tax policy to hurt political enemies. Hell even the aritcle mentions it. But states these people got what they have “illegaly.” So Putin is being generous by letting these criminals pay off a tax bil and never opposing him in public? From other sources I have read no Russian business dares not to have their taxes 100 currnent for the fear of it becoming nationalized. And sometimes that isn’t enough. (Especially if you’re in the energy business.)
    I do find it amusing that he outsmarts the Obama administration constantly though.

  16. “There is plenty of evidence of his abuses of the Russian tax policy to hurt political enemies.”
    —– don’t know ’nuff

    Whoopdy Fuckin’ Doo Dah!!

    No one ever suggested the man is perfect.

    Perhaps you should google IRS.

  17. Russia is ascending under Putin while Niggeritis has completely set in in the former USofA. They are rebuilding their cities and their infrastructure while we end up Detroit, many of ’em. This guy totally outclasses our Halfrican dictator and Obongo had best not fuck wif this dude!

  18. Excellent article, really insightful.
    It’s a tragedy that here in the UK we have/had such “leaders” who are only interested in selling out the country and it’s people to undisclosed special interests, these criminals (according to English Common Law) are not fit to stand in the same room as President Putin.
    Russian’s are very fortunate to have a true patriot as a leader.

  19. Wow,a puff piece on Putin,lol.Putin had journalists executed. Putin had spy who left Russia,went to London poisoned with a glass he was drinking from.Remember that?That’s just two of many

  20. What’s the trade in value on a low-mileage vagina? BB has a brain he’s not using. Donna won’t be better off, though.

  21. K. Gone most of the day to tend to my little girl (27 yo) who’s 70 miles away…had a touch of food poisoning. Need a little power nap then I’z be rarin’ ta go.

    shonuff….I shonuff goin’s ta be conversating wit you boy.

    donna….you trolling wench. How dare you dis my new Crush! You’re on beeeatch. I needs to feed myself first, I needs to rests myself first. Then like my Main Squeeze Vladie (he let’s me call him that…cute huh?) I needs to think, plan, analyze, and strategize.

    Oh, do you hear that? Vlad’s singing….”My girlfriend’s back and there’s going to be trouble….hey la hey la my girlfriend’s back….

    Sorry, when I’m tired inaneness sets in. Be back in a little while.

  22. “Wow,a puff piece on Putin, lol. Putin had journalists executed.”

    No one here thinks Putin is anything but what he is. A Russian strongman. He is what the Russian people, through their long and tragic history, want and support. And what he is doing is working for the Motherland, Russia. Russians love it. THAT”S the puff piece.

    I haven’t heard about his execution of journalists and doubt the story.

  23. bb, have you had a sex change and now call yourself donna?

    “Her” typing style is the same as yours.

  24. Stucky -I hope I am not having a conversation with a two year old.That said,Putin is KGB.Wikipedia the long list of dead journalist.Same with Alexander Litvineko.Pics of all

  25. Like journalists here haven’t been murdered. Hastings. Breitbart. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard probably would’ve been rubbed out by the Clintons if he hadn’t let go of the Vince Foster “suicide” story and skedaddled back to England.

  26. Without question, Donna’s vagina is infinitely smarter than bb. No contest! Hell, the period at the end of this sentence is smarter than bb.

  27. Americans and Europeans already know what kind of person Vladimir Putin is. Don’t confuse me with your facts Ms. Tennison and T4C. My mind’s already made up.

    During a trip to Canada, PRINCE CHARLES told a Jewish woman who fled from Poland during World War Two that in Ukraine “Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler.” – Reuter 5.22.2014.

    Vladimir Putin: a tyrant at home, a friend of tyrants abroad. What does Russia have to show for Putin’s rule? A corrupt and brutal oligarchy – and shameful support for Syria’s bloody regime. JOHN MCCAIN, summarized in The Guardian, 9.19.2013.

  28. Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.
    George Orwell

    Perhaps Putin is a Tyrant, but he has about the same powers that our President and CiC does. It is odd to see those that call Obama a dictator or tyrant now coming to his defense by seeing Putin as the greater evil.

    But that is politics and the citizens are inured to propaganda.

  29. “However stating that he is completely on the level is ridiculous.”

    First I’ll echo Stucky – No one ever suggested the man is perfect.

    Secondly I’ll quote Sharon Tennison – “Putin obviously has his faults and makes mistakes.”

    It suggests that you may have been engaging in selective reading/comprehension/interpretation of the article.

    “There is plenty of evidence of his abuses of the Russian tax policy to hurt political enemies.”

    That statement is an empty container until you fill it, i.e. “What about proof? Why don’t (you) show it?” – my boyfriend Vlad

    Sigh……….A Law Unto Itself: The IRS and the Abuse of Power, “In almost every administration since the IRS’s inception the information and power of the tax agency have been mobilized for explicitly political purposes.”

    President Franklin Roosevelt dropped the IRS hammer on political rivals such as Huey Long and Father Coughlin, and prominent Republicans like former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon.

    “….of the Clinton era, the Associated Press reported in late 1999 that “officials in the Democratic White House and members of both parties in Congress have prompted hundreds of audits of political opponents in the 1990s,” including “personal demands for audits from members of Congress.”

    You get the idea

    “Hell even the aritcle (sic) mentions it.”

    ‘Four months later Putin called a meeting with the oligarchs and gave them his deal:  They could keep their  illegally-gained wealth-producing Soviet enterprises and they would not be nationalized …. IF taxes were paid on their revenues and if they personally stayed out of politics.’ – from the article

    “But states these people got what they have “illegaly.”(sic)”

    “So Putin is being generous by letting these criminals pay off a tax bil (sic) and never opposing him in public?”

    His political enemies would be those office-seeking minions that object to his reining-in the nefarious corporate entities that are lining their pockets and stealing from the Motherland and her “children”.
    (Ya’ know, kinda like here in the USSA)

    You (as in shonuff) see letting them off the hook for their illegally gained companies as nonsensical and well, wrong. I see it as having been a strategic move; Putin sure as hell wasn’t going to let them get off scot-free; tax their revenue…that’s the ticket! If only we would forbid Corporations from infiltrating the Legislative Branch via lobbying or running for office Americans might have happy-faces.

    And those that wouldn’t obey the “rules of the house” which would promote and reclaim an innate esteem and love of their personal sovereignty as a nation…were jailed, e.g. Khodorkovsky


    The Washington Times

    Sunday, November 2, 2003

    LONDON (Agence France-Presse) — Control of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s shares in the Russian oil giant Yukos have passed to renowned banker [the Rt Hon Lord] Jacob ROTHSCHILD, under a deal they concluded prior to Mr. Khodorkovsky’s arrest, the Sunday Times reported.

    Yessiree Bob….Putin sure knew what he was doing when he looked those clusterfuck of oligarchs straight in the eyes and said:

    Нет больше!!!!

    “From other sources I have read no Russian business dares not to have their taxes 100 currnent (sic) for the fear of it becoming nationalized. And sometimes that isn’t enough. (Especially if you’re in the energy business.)”

    Ok shonuff…….what other sources? You’re killin’ me here.

    And….American businesses….some….the honest ones….dares not to have their taxes 100% current for fear of being imprisoned.

    I’ll deal with what’s-her-name tomorrow.

  30. Personal note to Admin:

    Saturday has come and gone. Thank you very much. Hmm…I think I might love you as much as I love Vladie. Avalon, just kidding girl!

  31. Z

    Mrs. Horton

    “Larisa Alexandrovna (born 1971) is a journalist, essayist, and poet. She has served as the Managing Editor of Investigative News of The Raw Story for the last three years, and contributes opinion and columns to online publications such as Alternet. She is also an American blogger for the Huffington Post and for her own journalism blog, at-Largely. Alexandrovna has had her work referenced in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and Newsweek among others.

    Alexandrovna was born in Odessa, Ukraine to Jewish parents Aleksander Yurovich, a physicist, and Klavdia Borisovna, an accountant.” – wikipedia

    Can’t find a link that story. Would like to read one. Tx

  32. Just in case donna sticks her head in this thread for a quick look to see if anyone talked about her; I’ll leave a spiked drink on the table.

    “Wow,a puff piece on Putin”

    How so?

    puff piece

    noun Informal.

    Random House Dictionary 2014

    Tennison’s purpose was not to praise or flatter. Her purpose was to question and unravel the vilification of all things ‘Putin’ and ‘Russian’ as they did not sync with her studied knowledge of what she knew of, and about him. Can you checkmate her expertise and mastery in understanding this particular world leader?

    “Putin had journalists executed. Putin had spy (sic) who left Russia,went to London poisoned with a glass he was drinking from.Remember that?That’s just two of many”

    So far that statement is supported by air. You’ll need to ground it to be credible.


    “Wikipedia the long list of dead journalist.Same with Alexander Litvineko.Pics of all”

    I came across an absolutely fabulous analysis of the media coverage of Litvinenko’s “story” and his subsequent death. William Dunkerley in “The Essence of the Alexander Litvinenko Story”, does an expert inspection and compression of the press’s reportage that should be required reading for any journalist, in that is demonstrates: the story of the story, which in turn takes one further down the ‘rabbit hole’.

    Terrific article, and I’ll just cite his final observation:

    “Before November 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was little known in the world. Even less was known about the work in which he was engaged. 
One of the most puzzling aspects of this is why the story about him grew to the proportion that it did.

    If Litvinenko had died in his sleep somewhere of natural causes, it would have gone virtually unnoticed in the world.

    But, there were sensational claims that a Kremlin plot caused his death. Even a novice journalist should have taken care to question those as-yet-unsubstantiated allegations. But, experienced, practicing journalists didn’t. They took the photos that were handed out, and ran with the story.

    The story grew to huge proportions.

    And, perhaps, that is the essence of the Alexander Litvinenko story. The most remarkable aspect of it is the coverage itself. That’s the big news here:

    The story is the story.

    But, no one covered it.”



    So, “I’m just a shill donna”…..I leave the best for last…..

    “….Putin is KGB”

    ………………………………………..THUD……………………..Is that all ya’ got???

    Daddy Bush was CIA….America’s version of the KGB….shrug.

    Again, I came across another “jackpot” article about….wait for it….Putin’s métier in the Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) aka Committee for State Security.

    (Note and take into consideration that this written 14 years ago)


    By David Hoffman
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, January 30, 2000


    DRESDEN, Germany – In the gray villa at No. 4 Angelikastrasse here, perched on a hill overlooking the Elbe River, a young major in the Soviet secret police spent the last half of the 1980s recruiting people to spy on the West.

    He spent 17 years as a mid-level agent in the Soviet KGB’s foreign intelligence wing, rising only to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Later, as an aide to a prickly, controversial mayor of St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city and Putin’s home town, he made a point of staying in the background.

    Yet Putin’s career also suggests that he witnessed firsthand the momentous finale of the Cold War. From the front line in East Germany, Putin saw how the centrally planned economies of the East staggered to disintegration. In St. Petersburg, he had a taste of the ragged path of Russia’s early transition to a free-market, democratic system.

    What Putin has taken from these experiences is not entirely clear. He has embraced the conviction that “there is no alternative” to market democracy, and soberly acknowledged Russia’s economic weaknesses. But he also has expressed enthusiasm for reasserting the role of a strong state. He has said the Russian economy has become “criminalized,” but so far only hinted that he would tackle the powerful tycoons who lord over it. Putin has vowed Russia will not revert to totalitarianism, but he has not demonstrated much skill working with Russia’s fledgling, competitive political system

    Putin has never campaigned for office, and he told an interviewer two years ago he found campaigns distasteful. “One has to be insincere and promise something which you cannot fulfill,” he said. “So you either have to be a fool who does not understand what you are promising, or deliberately be lying.”

    Putin, an only son, was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, to a factory foreman and his wife in 1952, shortly before Stalin’s death. He entered Leningrad State University’s law department in 1970….
    After a few years spying on foreigners in Leningrad, Putin was summoned to Moscow in the early 1980s to attend the elite foreign intelligence training institute, and then was assigned to East Germany. He arrived in Dresden at age 32 when East Germany was a major focus of Moscow’s attention.

    There is little information about Putin’s specific tasks in Dresden, but specialists and documents point to several assignments, including recruiting and preparing agents. The work likely involved Robotron, a Dresden-based electronics conglomerate, which was the Eastern Bloc’s largest mainframe computer maker and a microchip research center.

    The presence of Robotron may have provided Putin with legends for sending technicians to the West, or for recruiting Westerners who came to East Germany from such large electronics companies as Siemans or IBM. Putin may also have been interested in military electronics and intelligence about NATO from informers in the West.

    Putin told a journalist, Natalya Nikiforova, that he did not move up higher in the KGB ranks because he did not want to move his family to Moscow. “I have two small children and old parents,” he said. “They are over 80, and we all live together. They survived the blockade during the war. How could I take them from the place they were born in? I could not abandon them.”

    The article continues with the chronology of his rise to power, and some jabs at his ideology and character. Meh…it’s the WaPo.


    Sharon Tennison’s perception and assessment of Putin after 30 years is:

    “Putin most likely is a straight, reliable and exceptionally inventive man. He is obviously a long-term thinker and planner and has proven to be an excellent analyst and strategist. He is a leader who can quietly work toward his goals…”

    Vlad is a power-player. This requires ‘sleeping with the enemy’. To observe, aggregate data, and analyze the mindset of men e.g. Oligarchs et al, who comparatively speaking, display psychopathic characteristics; solidifies one’s foundation for strategizing against them and beating them at their own game. It necessitates ‘thinking’ like a psychopath even though you aren’t one. As it stands….I don’t think Vlad is a psychopath….and that probably gives the West the ‘willies’.

    Time will tell…..don’t make me break-up with you Vlad!

  33. Last post on this thread for me….unless someone pisses me off.

    If not for any other reason, I’m glad this got posted or I never would have known who Vincent Niclo was.

    He would be that amazing piece of eye-candy lead singer in the Ameno video @ 6th June 2014 at 11:07 am

    goddamn he’s HOT


    Thanks to those who read and or contributed comments.

  34. Putin is a patriot. Comes the hour, comes the man. If we are fortunate such a person will appear in our own country. Everybody reading this page knows EXACTLY who is behind the hate campaign against Putin – and Putin does too.

  35. I went to the same university and had the same tough professor Sobchak who loved Putin as a student. I was younger and went to school same year as Medvedev. I can only assure you that Dr. Sobchak hated all kind of stupid and would never get a graduate student such as Putin if he would not be brilliant.


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