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Attempt at an impartial portrait of Putin

August 29th, 2019

An author in the main pro-government daily suggests that President Putin’s record is as positive in Russia as it is negative abroad.

In Magyar Nemzet, economist László Árva describes the West’s Russia policy since the late 1990s as a consistent attempt at weakening Russia, a long-time adversary. After the fall of the Soviet Union, he recalls, western multinationals and the Russian oligarchs allied to them got hold of much of Russia’s natural resources, pushing a ‘globalised’ Russia into a subordinate position. However, this process was accompanied by huge public safety problems and Putin, who was then Prime Minister, increased his grip on power by restoring law and order as well as bolstering Russia’s image as a world power. True, in the economy he was by no means as successful as China’s communist leaders, Árva remarks. His assertiveness in military terms was well received at home, the analyst continues, while it was seen in the West, quite understandably, as a threat. As with other prominent politicians, Árva concludes, Putin means one thing to Russia and something entirely different to its foreign rivals.

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