Vladimir Putin won re-election this week largely by campaigning on a few themes: fear, paranoia, and an obsession with loyalty and betrayal, according to his critics.
And to hear those close to Mr Putin tell it, this is a faithful reflection of the former KGB colonel’s own mind as he heads into a third term as president of the world’s second largest nuclear power.
In numerous speeches, Mr Putin alluded to the presence of foreign plots against his rule and internal enemies of Russia’s sovereignty, accusing protesters of responding to “signals” from Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, and being part of a foreign-inspired effort to “show us that they can rock the boat”.
While this may have been scripted for public consumption, analysts say that the behind-the-scenes Putin is very much like the one he projects in public, his behaviour symptomatic of the same outlook he evokes in political speeches. Read More