Author Topic: "Is Putin a psychopath?"  (Read 20535 times)

Offline Hildegarda

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"Is Putin a psychopath?"
« on: September 08, 2008, 02:58:56 AM »
A question was raised just recently, “Is Putin a Psychopath”? Tough call. 

Western media vilifies him relentlessly for being an autocrat, but what really irks them is that Russia simply doesn’t cow-tow to the West anymore.   Those few Westerners who look past the media’s deceit tend to think him positively benign next to Bush and Co.  However, they may not be fully aware of centralization of power and the increase of corruption, the rise of nationalism, the destruction of social net and the erosion of freedoms in Russia. 

As to the Russians themselves, some hate Putin for the above reason but concede that life has definitely gotten better since the 90-s.  Many others adore Putin simply because he projects a positive image for himself and Russia, and in general looks strong and basically functional as person, unlike the drunkard Yeltsin or a bed-ridden Chernenko or Brezhnev, among the recent leaders.  Check out this popular song, “One like Putin” (\\\http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9gqQnAvYn4) – it’s not a joke, this song was a mega-hit a few years ago. 

Putin is very good at keeping a “poker face”, and carefully guards both his public image and private life.  But, a 2002 book provides a rare glimpse at Putin’s personality from the point of view of the person closest to him – his wife. 

The book, “Vladimir Putin: the Road to Power”, is an officially sanctioned biography of Putin, written by Oleg Blotsky.  Blotsky is a journalist who specialized in war-zone coverage, and a good writer, with at least one biography of a high-profile military official under his belt (from what I know).  I imagine he was carefully evaluated for the job.  He got to spend a lot of time with Putin and his family and interview them.   

The biography was supposed to be a trilogy, and a eulogy, reminiscent of the style reserved for Lenin and other high Soviet officials [puke].  The first part, about Vladimir Putin’s early years, came out in 2001, was an instant best-seller and is still in print.  The second part, released in 2002, dealt with Putin’s adulthood, marriage and rise to presidency.  It included a lot of direct quotes from his wife, and the picture of Putin that emerged wasn’t exactly stellar. Here is a review in Western media (\\\http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/16/world/fg-lyudmila16) that also shows reactions of some Russians; Russian reviews were similar.  In any case, this book disappeared (or made to disappear) from bookstores very quickly, and is presently out-of-print and considered rare.  The third installment of the biography, to my knowledge, has never come out.  The project was buried. 

Although the article quoted above gives a good summary of what Ludmila Putina had said, I have translated direct quotes from her below.  I found them here.  (\\\http://www.nazlobu.ru/publications/article2665.htm)  I think that form them you can really see the kind of person she is, or was, and get a 3D view of their relationship dynamics. 

A couple of things to remember.  In the book, these quotes are interspersed with a lot of positive or neutral context.  Both of the Blotsky’s book on Putin are tendentious and written from a supporter’s point of view.  He likes a sensation, but had no desire to bring Putin down.  Neither did Liudmila.  She simply, perhaps for the first time in a long time, had trusted someone enough to speak sincerely, and a few things slipped out.  The only request she had of Blotsky is to keep their daughters, Masha and Katya, out of the limelight, and he honored this request. 

Lastly, while Russian society is more traditional in its view of gender roles in family and society ( as the LA time article has pointed out), and while casual misogyny unfortunately is still common, there are a lot of things in Liudmila's account that are disturbing even for Russia and wouldn't be considered normal or optimal there, when all is put together. 


With that in mind, here are those direct quotes from Ludmila Putina: 

Quote
"He already had a girlfriend named Liuda"

I remember very well my very first meeting with Vladimir Vladimirovitch’s [VV further on - H] parents … He had just bought a new stereo (the brand was “Russia”, the most desirable at the time), and invited me and two more friends to his home to celebrate … Afterwards, I remember I went into the kitchen and his mother, Maria Ivanovna, was there.  We started talking, and then Alexei [VV’s friend, who introduced them to each other] enters the kitchen and asks Maria Ivanovna: “So, how do you like Liuda [Ludmila]?”  And she answers:  “She is OK, I guess.  But he already had a girlfriend named Liuda, and such a nice girl she was!”, etc, etc. 

I had almost cried … I will not deny, I was very hurt and upset by this. 

My relationship with Vladimir developed evenly.  It wasn’t always wonderful, but, it was always stable.  There was however a strange pattern to it:  everything would be good for a couple of months, and then something negative, bad would happen, and then – everything will be good again. 
As to the feelings, this wasn’t love at first sight.  [..] For the first time in my life I grew to love a person.  Gradually got used to him and grew to love him.
\


Quote
"He was starving me out"

Our dates – oh, it’s a story in and of itself.  I have never been late for them, but VV was always late.  An hour and a half late – that was a usual thing.  Knowing that, however, I could never be late myself.  What if, I always thought, he would arrive on time today.  (Btw, to this day, I never got used to VV being late for appointments).

I remember standing inside a subway station. First 15 minutes that he is late, I am fine; half hour passes, I still feel OK.  But when an hour passes and he still isn’t there, I feel so upset and I just cry in despair and humiliation.  And after an hour and a half I have no emotions left whatsoever.  …

After VV had finally appeared, I would never make a scene.  In those 1.5 hours you would go through so much, you simply have no energy for emotions.  So VV was besieging me, starving me out. 

His delays have always been explained away by the demands of his work; incidentally, there, he was always punctual.  While in personal life he would relax.  Of course, where else? …

You have to give VV his due:  he was always like this and never pretended to be someone else.  He would never show off his behavior, his principles etc, he just was – himself.  He never talked about it, but I understood that this is him, and that he would never be different.  His behavior was honest.   


Quote

"Yes, my little friend, it's me"


I think that living in Leningrad [St. Petersburg] has influenced VV in some way.  He is somewhat guarded, secretive; that was characteristic of his parents as well. 

Once we went to a party, where I, my guess is, behaved too freely: I danced, smiled, had fun.  VV didn’t like that, and I was told in no uncertain terms that our relationship is over.  I understood at that moment, that I had to leave. 

I didn’t even argue, because he expressed it very firmly.  Especially since I am one of those people who understands the word, knows the weight it carries.  But, I wasn’t upset or mad at him for what he said.  Because he was honest with me and told me everything directly.   

I left … I won’t hide it, I had a very, very hard time.  But, after two weeks, I return to my apartment in the evening, and at the door find a tiny note, “yes, my little friend, it’s me”.  And a phone number below. 

Afterwards, VV was saying that this trip of his just “came up”.  Well, and if it did come up, why not make a detour and visit me too. 

I remember, when we met, I was crying, telling him that I love him, that I need him.  I went to see him off when he was leaving.  But it was still unclear how our relationship would develop.
   

   
continued


« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 05:28:53 AM by Hildegarda »
Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 03:24:01 AM »
Thanks Hildegarda for these quotes - quite chilling ... but it seems to me that they fit the TV persona we see quite well.

Most of the Russians I had contact with either loved Putin - or the more "intellectual" ones didn't like him, but begrudgingly gave him credit for pulling Russia together. One thing that I found interesting is, that all these people hated most of the former presidents like Yeltsin or Breshnev, because they were from Ukrainia and were not able to speak "proper Russian" whereas Putin is "one of us" who speaks "proper Russian" and is a president we "don't have to be ashamed" of.

But as Hildegarda said, the living conditions for the majority of Russians is dire, lots of corruption and very little economic prospect.

Looking forward to the contination of the thread ... 
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Offline Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2008, 05:57:21 AM »
Quote

I always had to fight something

It is absolutely true that VV was testing me throughout our life together.  I always had a feeling that he is watching me -- waiting to see if I would make the right decisions, whether I would pass the next test.

I remember how in 1981 or so we started downhill skiing … At some point VV simply suggested that we do it.  Not even suggested; he never really asked my opinion.  It was self-explanatory to him that we will start skiing together. 

Special oufits for downhill skiing were impossible to find, so we skied in regular clothes and looked, to tell the truth, just awful. 

We would go to Kagolovo, and now, this kind of trip seems unthinkable to me.  One had to take a tram first, then a subway, then board a train.  It took an hour and a half just to get to the ski slopes.   

We had no instructor and learned on our own. [..] The equipment (skis, boots) was very expensive.   Basically, from that moment on, we spent everything on this hobby.  Sometimes we wouldn’t even have money to go out to theater.   

[theater is mentioned again and again -- Liudmila wanted to be an actress when she was young -- H.]

VV always had a car; when we met, it was a “Zaporozhets” [a small Russian make]. 

Once, I remember, there was a time when the car didn’t have a muffler, and we rode around St. Petersburg at two in the morning. I guess, VV wanted to show me the city at night, and also perhaps to show off his car; having a car at that time was very prestigious.  So, back then too, VV was a strapping fellow. 

From my point of view, I have to say, this whole story with a muffler made no sense. Imagine, I am coming to St.-P. for only four days, and I just want to spend some time with Volodya.  But, VV very much wanted to give me a ride on his car, and so he spent a whole day looking for that darn muffler.   Because of this, I spent the whole day in the hotel by myself.   It was so incredibly upsetting:  to waist one day out of the previous four, just to later ride around the city at night [..] without a muffler. 

Afterwards, the “Zaporozhets” was sold, together with the garage, and another car [..] was purchased.  That’s the one we drove when we went for our honeymoon trip later on, together with friends, a husband and a wife, who also had a car of their own.

That’s when I had made a surprising discovery that VV never tries to take on the most prominent position in a group.  He would cede the leadership to a more active person.  That other man, Sasha, was exactly like that and had taken on all the responsibility in planning our driving and sight-seeing, while VV happily followed.  Probably because of that we spent the whole month without any quarrels, in perfect calm and harmony. 

The first time we went [..] to [a Black Sea resort] was in the summer of 1981.

VV took with him an underwater gun, flippers, a snorkel and a float.  The sea was in a half an hour walk from the house [we were renting].  There was a small peninsula there, and it was hard to get there from the shore, especially with the gun in your hands.  It was easier to reach it by swimming.  But at that time, I could barely stay afloat.  I had learned to swim only later.  And so, on this float – basically -- risking my life, I would swim to that peninsula.  Volodya swam next to me.   
[..]

I don’t remember how it happened, that I swam back all by myself.  Most likely, VV went by shore while I chickened out, because of one very narrow passage in a rock.  I guess I said to him, that I’ll swim back.  Then, Volodya gives me the gun and asks:

-   You think you can make it?
   
The gun seemed light to me in the water, and I said yes.  But when I started swimming awkwardly, holding the gun above my head, I understood with horror that the gun is very heavy, and I probably won’t make it.  I panicked so much that I don’t remember how I did manage to finally make it to shore.  Afterward, I couldn’t grasp how I even managed to do it. 

So there were always situations that didn’t leave me a chance to relax.  I always had to fight something: skis, slopes, or water. 
 




Quote

I don’t remember how we kissed


We got married three and a half years after we met, on July 28, 1983. Incidentally, in all these years we never once celebrated our anniversary. 

Even though I never so much as hinted at marriage, we both understood that one day we’d have to decide what to do, either to stay together or part ways.

But, VV wouldn’t tolerate if a girl were to pressure him, or lead onto the topic of marriage in a conversation.  Even if we accidentally touched that subject, VV would put a stop to it immediately.  He treated such conversations with irony and thought that it’s the man who should make a decision. 

VV proposed in accordance with all the rules, in a classic way: he said that he loved me and suggested that we set our wedding date for July.  Everything was done properly.  Even in a somewhat artificial way. 

I remember the way it went. 

We were sitting in Volodya’s room, and all of a sudden he says:

-   Well, my little friend, you know me.  I have a rather difficult temper.  And now, generally speaking, you should perhaps decide which way your life would go.

Everything went ice cold inside of me.  When VV started the conversation in this way, I understood that he decided to break up with me.  But, even at this moment, I said what I thought: 

-   I have decided.  I need you. 

Then, Volodya said,

-    Well, in that case, I am proposing to you.  I love you.  Will you marry me?
-    Yes, - I said.   
-   If you agree, -- he concluded – then let’s have our wedding on July 28, in three months. 

This is how we plead out love to each other [..]. 

I really don’t remember, whether the guests were chanting “Gor’ko!” [during the wedding] [ a Russian tradition; during the wedding reception, when the guests chant “Gor’ko” together the young couple should kiss, to everyone’s delight]. They must have.  They should have had… And I don’t remember how we kissed. 

Afterwards, we went to a honeymoon road trip.  Drove all the way to Kiev.  I think we even went to a theater there. Unfortunately, there are no photographs of that period.  WE had a camera with black-and-white film; I even took a few shots, even though I am not a photographer.  That film, never developed, has been lying around the house for a while, and eventually we threw it out.  Because of this, we don’t have any photographs from our honeymoon.  [..]

Eventually, we made it to Yalta [a city on the Black Sea shore].  And from Yalta we went straight to Moscow, because VV had some things to do there.  And while he was taking care of business, I stayed with our friends.  That’s how our honeymoon trip went.

 
Quote

"All I do is wait for him"

VV never told me anything about his work.  To my habitual questions, “How was your day at work?”, he would just as habitually answer with a joke, “Catch’em before lunch, release after lunch”. And that’s it. [..]

BTW, VV never told me himself that he is a KGB operative.  When we met, he told me that he is a policeman, a criminal detective, and I believed it for the whole year and a half.  … I had a girlfriend, the wife of VV’s acquaintance, and I have learned from her that he works in KGB.  I think that it is most likely that she did it upon his request.  He had to get out of the situation one way or the other, so that’s the way he choose.  Although, that’s what I suspect, I still don’t know for sure.   

The feeling I had after learning this news wasn’t a pleasant one.  This was a signal that I am not yet fully trusted. 

I think that after talking to my girlfriend I asked VV, is it really true, and he said that yes, it’s true.  But I don’t remember for sure. 

Afterwards, there was one incident that I remember very well. 

Once, VV and I made an arrangement that I will call him at seven pm.  In a communal apartment where I lived, there was no phone, so I would go out and use a public phone.  For an hour and a half that day, I would go back and forth, calling and calling, because Volodya showdd up at home only at eight-thirty. 

It’s gotten dark outside.  One more time, I went out, called him, couldn’t reach him, and now am returning back home. 
All of a sudden I see a guy running after me.  The street is empty.  But I have to go through an arch-way into the inner court-yard of my apartment building, where the entrance is. 

That young man is at first walking fast.  He walks faster, and I do too.  He ran, and I ran.  And then, he yells to me: 
-   Miss, please stop, I won’t do anything to you.  I just wanted to talk to you.  Only two seconds. 
And he is saying it rather sincerely, “from the heart” as they say.  I stopped, he comes over and says:
-   Miss, I think it’s destiny that I should meet you, I so would like to get to know you. 
-   Destiny?  What kind of destiny, what are you talking about? – I say.
-   Please, I’m begging you, give me your phone number
-   I don’t have a phone
-   Well, then, would you please write down mine…
-   No, thanks.  I regret, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. 
-   But what if you change your mind?  Just in case, take my phone number.
-   No, there would never be such a “case”.   

I turned and walked away. 

I never thought back then, that it could be some kind of a test.  But afterwards, when I learned that VV works in KGB, that incident came to mind.  Many times I asked him about it, but he never answered me directly.  I still don’t know whether it was a test, or simply some guy trying to meet me. 

I don’t think it’s immoral to test people in such circumstances.  There is got to be some way to find out the person’s moral values.  Who knows, may be after I get married, I would respond positively to any man’s attempts to get my phone number. 

At the time however, the idea of any kind of test just never crossed my mind.  Let them test me, who cares…
 
I never got mad over VV’s work.  Work is work.  What did make me angry, upset, and didn’t make sense whatsoever, is why VV could say that he’ll be back by, say, nine o’clock, and not show up.  But that’s half the trouble.  My husband would never telephone me to let me know, if he is running late, and how late he will be.  However, I always had some plans for the evening, may be not as important or interesting, but I always had them nonetheless.  And so if my husband said that he will be back at night, but would return at midnight, then, all these three hours I would be sitting on needles, waiting for him.  Nothing makes more anxious than waiting someone, or chasing after someone. 

So, I am waiting, I am very nervous, always thinking of VV.  I get so angry, then mad at him, then upset.  During this time I would go through so many emotions.  Especially since through all the years we live together, I never learned to re-focus on some other things.  All I do is wait for him.  I can’t live any other way.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 07:54:13 AM by Hildegarda »
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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2008, 06:07:30 AM »
Quote
I had no choice

Fact is, I always submitted myself to VV’s wishes.  It was he who recommended that I major in Spanish while in college [..]… Then, Volodya says:” Why don’t you also learn touch-typing?” Yessir, and there I am, attending typing courses.   And that was my 4th (junior) year, I was pregnant with Masha. …

I remember when Masha was born, I called him from the birthing center on the second or third day, to find out what he thinks the child’s name should be.  I always wanted to call my daughter Natasha.  I had a friend named Natasha, and generally I really liked this name.  But VV said, “No, her name will be Masha”. 

I started crying, I so wanted to name my daughter Natasha.  But then I realized that I had no choice and that her name will be Masha.  So I thought to myself: “All right, well, my favorite aunt’s name is Masha too”…

Three days later [from when we returned from the hospital], VV left on business. And since he wasn’t doing any washing or cooking, things became even easier for me; before I had to take care of both Masha and my husband, now I only had Masha …

… When we moved to Dresden, I was seven months pregnant with my second daughter.  But I have never visited a doctor – there just wasn’t enough time.  I remember that I went to the doctor there, and he reprimanded me so much.  Turned out my hemoglobin was very low.  Well, why would it be high anyway?

Imagine, I am 7 months along, holding little Masha in one arm and dragging a grocery sack with the other hand, and I am walking up the stairs to our apartment on the sixth floor.  A neighbor comes out to the hallway, sees me, and his eyes pop.  He could only say, “Luda, you can’t be doing this”, and carried both Masha and the groceries to the sixth floor.  But this happened only once, while I had to go up and down those steps minimum three times each day.  I know that the neighbor had said to my husband many times: “Volodya. You should help your wife!”

But that had no effect, since one of VV’s principles was that a woman should do all he housework by herself.  Because of this, he never shared any housework chores.

[but, my understanding is that he did insist that she goes to work soon after having children.  Ludmila has worked as a language teacher and interpreter until Putin received a position in Moscow]   


Quote

"A bit too dry"

To be honest, I never liked to cook, and don’t like doing it now either. 

VV is very picky when it comes to food.  If some dish doesn’t hold up to his standards of what a meal should be, then he would refuse it altogether.  So he wouldn’t eat whatever’s on the table, and of course he wouldn’t compliment the food just for the sake of it.  There are men who eat anything, always say how good and tasty the food is, and ask for a second helping.  I always wished that my husband did this [..] and was always envious of women whose husbands were like that. 

In our family, everything was different. 

Let’s say, Volodya comes home for lunch.  Naturally, I set the table.  He eats.  I await his reaction with my heart barely beating.  There is none. 
“How’s the meat?” – I ask finally.  “A bit too dry” -- says he.

To me, it’s like a knife through my heart.   I tried so hard, went all the way to the market for that meat, then cooked it for a long time.  Pored all my soul into it, you can say.  And the only thing I get is, “a bit too dry”. 

So, gradually, I developed real disgust towards cooking.  Due to incidents like this, and also due to the fact that I was never acknowledged even if everything was perfect.  If the dish really came out good, the comment was,” not bad”.   

On the other hand, there is a saying: don’t say too many good things to a woman, so as not to spoil her.   So, VV was always training me, so that I stay in good shape …

« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 06:24:33 AM by Hildegarda »
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Offline Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 07:43:22 AM »
when you are reading Ludmila Putina's quotes, look for how she switches between the formal Vladimir Vladimirovitch and the nickname, Volodya.  IT really follows the flow of her emotions. 

Whether Putin is a psychopath or not, Mrs. Putina's words often read as if they were straight from Sandra Brown's "Women Who Love Psychopaths".  I was particularly struck by her description of how he proposed marriage to her, she says it was "classical" but goes to tell a heart-wrenching story.  Major corrective thinking and major dissociation, not remembering some very crucial events.  And the endless waiting and testing games, to subdue to spirit and get her addicted to the relationship.  He definitely picked a sucseptible woman and immersed her into a dependence.  And you can see how she keeps saying to herself, "he is a good man, a good provider, etc".  Still, she sounds like she is afraid of him. 

One more thing she said elsewhere is that she is a simple person who likes simple hearty jokes, and is still bothered by her husband's sarcasm and dark sense of humor.   

Elsewhere still, Putin answered the question whether he is calm under stress:
Quote
Much too calm. In one character assessment, they wrote the following as a negative trait: "He has a lowered sense of danger". Apparently you are supposed to be wound up when you're under stress, in order to respond appropriately. It is considered important. Fear is like pain. And if there is pain, it is a signal that something is wrong with your body.

also something to keep in mind. 

Ludmila Putina has always kept a low profile.  With her husband being always busy and emotionally unavailable (there was a quote somewhere that she and the girls would, among themselves, call the father of the family "a fridge", only half-jokingly), she has concentrated on raising her children.  It seems that the unspoken assumption between them always was that child-rearing and education was her job.  He would still make decisions but let her put them in practice, and whatever resources she needed, she got.   Their daughters got all the best in terms of education and activities, and were shielded from the public eye.  They were homeschooled for some of the time he was in office, and went to colleges abroad.  One of them recently got married.  All that's known about them is that they speak a few languages, play musical instruments, are very well-behaved and, over all, "straight arrows". 

During his tenure as a president, Mrs. Putina did some non-profit and educational work, but in general didn't appear in public much.  She rarely followed Putin when he went to visit other countries, which was especially apparent in the last year or so of his presidency.  The impression was that she was purposely moved to the background.  There were some vague rumors that she is prone to hysterics and is no stranger to alcohol.  Wonder why  [sarcastic smiley] ...

All this stuff came up again earlier this year when a rumor about Putin's impending divorce and marriage to a former gymnast Alina Kabaeva was circulating widely.   The rumor was rebutted and the newspaper that started it was dealt with ruthlessly.  The consensus is that the whole thing was a hoax, but the way Putin denied it was still very eye-opening.  He was meeting Silvio Berlusconi in Italy at the time -- by himself -- and received a question during a press-conference. 

You'd think he would have said something like, "This outrageous rumors are 100% false.  I love my wife and we have a strong family relationship". 

Nope.  Here is a video segment: \\\http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDvUloWb1ko .  He makes no mention of his wife, not one.  Instead, he first waits, his face contorting, and then proceeds to say that it's all false, that he respects Kabaeva and all other women the tabloids have connected him to, in fact, he likes and respects all Russian women because they are the smartest and the most beautiful of all the women in the world, eclipsed may be only by the Italian women.  And then comes the famous quote about "some people who like to poke their infected noses into other people's private affairs" (not included in this video).  Really makes you wonder.   

************

anyways, these are just some facts, to help us form an opinion on the topic ...
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 07:46:02 AM by Hildegarda »
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Offline Vulcan59

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 10:02:11 AM »
There is a ten part series of interviews on Putin and his wife done by BBC, The Times and Salon here. The interview with Lyudmila Putina is in part 3 of the series and it corroborates much of what you have reproduce above.


Added later. Source
Quote
(Newser)  – Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila caused a stir in Moscow last weekend when they paid an unannounced visit to the theater. After the audience gave him a standing ovation, Putin made a foray into theater criticism that stunned the cast. "Why did you show him crying?" asked the notoriously emotionless Putin of the lead actor's portrayal. "You showed him sniveling."
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 10:24:08 AM by Vulcan59 »
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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 12:12:59 PM »
Visible results is what counts. Listening to stories of other people about someone may be entertaining but not very informative, because stories are usually taken out of context, and context IS important. It is only when we have enough of visible results, like it was with Hitler in  the past and other important people or serial killers of today, only THEN we have some reasonable ground for looking into "stories" about these people. Stories are often being colored  and we need the right filter to be able to see the true color of a given story.

The next thing is, assuming you are not a psychopath,  how to behave in a class full of psychopaths? Be kind and all-giving? That's not gonna work. You will be on the street pretty soon. If never been in such a class, struggling in order to be able to accomplish anything of value, then you do not have a reference point. Every error becomes the amplified. I do not know about you, but I am making errors almost every day. Now, assume your errors, each one of them, will be amplified and then analyzed in details.

The devil is always in the details, and what is important is the totality of data and of knowledge that we have.

So, to the question: is Putin a psychopath? My question is: what is the first reason for asking such question? Because he is a politician and many politicians are psychopaths? He is also a human being and many human beings are Chinese. Is Putin a Chinese too?

So, when someone asks: is Putin a psychopath, the only reason for asking such a question that I can see is this: the person asking the question would like to make Putin his/her hero, but is not sure, i afraid of making a mistake.

I do not think there are ANY heroes among the politicians. Am I wrong? Then let me have an example of a spotless hero from the past history of the humanity. I do not know one example.
"And so, let me repeat: who wants to believe - let them believe. But I do not want to believe, I want to know."

          (An old philosopher in "The lost future" by K. Borun and A. Trepka, SF novel - in Polish)

Offline Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 05:35:03 PM »

... assuming you are not a psychopath,  how to behave in a class full of psychopaths? Be kind and all-giving? That's not gonna work. [..]

The devil is always in the details, and what is important is the totality of data and of knowledge that we have.



here is another piece of data to the totality: 

in one of the earlier interviews, Putin is on the record as having expressed surprise, and even having laughed, at Bush and Co for, despite of all the claims and hype, failing to find the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  "If I were there, I would have definitely found something," -- these are his words. 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 05:38:04 PM by Hildegarda »
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Offline anart

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2008, 06:16:22 PM »
here is another piece of data to the totality: 

in one of the earlier interviews, Putin is on the record as having expressed surprise, and even having laughed, at Bush and Co for, despite of all the claims and hype, failing to find the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  "If I were there, I would have definitely found something," -- these are his words. 

Not really sure what you think the relevance of this is?  I ask because it could be interpreted in many different ways, yet, since you bring it up as 'another piece of data', you must think that it implies something relevant?

Offline Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2008, 06:35:43 PM »

Not really sure what you think the relevance of this is?  I ask because it could be interpreted in many different ways, yet, since you bring it up as 'another piece of data', you must think that it implies something relevant?


it's relevant, IMO.  He is implying that if he were in a position to pursue his goals in invading another country, he wouldn't even bother with a sense of decorum; there wouldn't be independent data confirming or denying what he says; he could even plant all the "proof" he needs and get away with it. 

western media is bought and sold, but in Russia, freedom of press is simply non-existent.  There is no analitics, all the discourse is yellow; the number of journalists murdered in Russia eclipses only that in Iraq; a paper could be shut down for a rumor, a journalist can be refused re-entry into the country after a conference b\c of an article she wrote.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 06:53:09 PM by Hildegarda »
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Offline anart

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2008, 06:55:43 PM »

it's relevant, IMO.  He is implying that if he were in a position to pursue his goals in invading another country, he wouldn't even bother with a sense of decorum; there wouldn't be independent data confirming or denying what he says. 

I see, but he is in a position to invade another country - yet he has yet to do it, unlike Bush/Cheney. 

Quote from: h
western media is bought and sold, but in Russia, freedom of press is simply non-existent.  There is no analitics, all the discourse is yellow; the number of journalists murdered in Russia eclipses only that in Iraq; a paper could be shut down for a rumor, a journalist can be refused re-entry into the country after a conference b\c of an article she wrote.

Not sure how this fact applies, since the reality of the situation is that there is no Western media at all either - it seems Russia and the US are pretty even in that score (though different tactics may be used to affect the same result).

Another possible interpretation of Putin's statement would be basically that he's saying that if he went to the trouble of invading a country on a false premise, he would be intelligent enough to make sure the 'reason' was 'found' - whether it was true or not.  Meaning that he's commenting on the stupidity and lack of attention to details of Bush/Cheney.  Considering the number of people murdered, the expense of the invasion, the total control of the operation, it should have been child's play to plant the evidence early on to be found and put on display, thus tying up that little loose end for the history books.  In short, it seems he's simply saying that Bush/Cheney aren't even good at what they do.    I'm not saying that he is or is not a psychopath, I'm just saying that this statement could be interpreted many ways and that it may not carry the weight that you have attached to it.  fwiw.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 06:58:37 PM by anart »

Offline Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 07:23:36 PM »
It is only when we have enough of visible results, like it was with Hitler in  the past and other important people or serial killers of today, only THEN we have some reasonable ground for looking into "stories" about these people.

Here are some of the results that may help clarify things, IMO:   
-- visible improvements in the economy are solely due to high oil and gas prices
-- power greatly centralized; governors of regions no longer elected but appointed; The Federation Council (the analogue of the Senate) de facto stops being accountable to the regions it represents; freedom of press restricted
-- a few poster oligarchs busted, while others, with friends in the right places (e.g., Abramovitch), continue to thrive and get to sell their assets back through the covert "re-nationalization" for an inflated price, pocketing huge profits.  Wealth disparity sky-rockets.
-- corruption, money laundering, corporate raiding incidents increase dramatically. 
-- despite more oil money coming in, the funds for the health care, system of education, retirement program are eviscerated, hurting the most vulnerable in society.  The promised modernization of manufacturing and transportation system also never panned out. 
-- government-supported nationalistic groups are growing; the rhetoric used really reminds of the Soviet Union times;  patriotic themes are strong in movies and art; neo-nazi groups are picking up, minorities aren't safe on the streets, Russians sometimes don’t feel safe either, the overall mood is rather hysterical.   
-- Russian Orthodox Church is re-aligning with the government and gaining in influence; “Basics of the Orthodoxy” is now a required course in public schools, and Putin’s personal confessor has come out with very imperialistic statements. 

With all this go high approval ratings, and elderly grandmothers calling TV hotlines just to say thank you to their beloved leader, who came out of nowhere in the late 90-s.  People are used to these things from the time of the Soviet Union, and it has a very familiar feel.


again, just some more information
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Offline Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2008, 07:35:37 PM »
I see, but he is in a position to invade another country - yet he has yet to do it, unlike Bush/Cheney. 

not sure about this.  Russia doesn't have the military power to do such a thing, or didn't, up to this point.  Russian army was in crisis since the 90-s; the weapons are old and insufficient, and the compulsory draft extremely unpopular.  Putin said that he'll reform the military to contract service and modernize weapons and equipment; however, the reforms were inefficient and plagued by corruption and theft (as he delegated them to his cronies).  There are indications that things are getting "better" -- Russian military showed itself well in the Georgia conflict, which has been noted.  The Russian rhetoric has correspondingly gotten harsher, too. 

one more thing:  Russia has elected a new President earlier this year -- Mr. Medvedev -- but everyone, including us here, keeps talking about Putin, for a reason, as he appears to have no intentions of letting go of his influence. 

fwiw,

« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 07:43:30 PM by Hildegarda »
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Offline Xman

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2008, 07:46:41 PM »
Quote from: Hildegarda
it's relevant, IMO.  He is implying that if he were in a position to pursue his goals in invading another country, he wouldn't even bother with a sense of decorum; there wouldn't be independent data confirming or denying what he says. 

Quote from: anart
Another possible interpretation of Putin's statement would be basically that he's saying that if he went to the trouble of invading a country on a false premise, he would be intelligent enough to make sure the 'reason' was 'found' - whether it was true or not.  Meaning that he's commenting on the stupidity and lack of attention to details of Bush/Cheney.  Considering the number of people murdered, the expense of the invasion, the total control of the operation, it should have been child's play to plant the evidence early on to be found and put on display, thus tying up that little loose end for the history books.  In short, it seems he's simply saying that Bush/Cheney aren't even good at what they do.    I'm not saying that he is or is not a psychopath, I'm just saying that this statement could be interpreted many ways and that it may not carry the weight that you have attached to it.  fwiw.

For what its worth. I read it in the way anart is implying. I thought Putin was basically mocking Bush for being a crazy idiot. Not even smart enough to create the evidence. Or so arrogant and so crazy that they can just do as they please and who cares - bottom line - Putin is bringing into the daylight just how insane Bush and the ruling powers are.

It also seems that there is some highly invested emotional content coming through in Hildegarda's posts.
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Offline Hildegarda

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Re: "Is Putin a psychopath?"
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2008, 09:02:54 PM »

For what its worth. I read it in the way anart is implying. I thought Putin was basically mocking Bush for being a crazy idiot. Not even smart enough to create the evidence. Or so arrogant and so crazy that they can just do as they please and who cares - bottom line - Putin is bringing into the daylight just how insane Bush and the ruling powers are.


an example from the top of my head that agrees with more self-serving interpretation of those words by Putin:

there was a video that made rounds on youtube, about a SF-bay area girl, a native of Ossetia who was stuck there during Russia-Georgia conflict. It was on SOTT too.  She is invited to Fox news channel as a "human interest" story, where she and her aunt say things against the party line, blaming Saakashvili for the conflict and saying that the Russian troups had helped them.  The host cuts them off with a commercial break and then brings them back on for a chance to "finish their thought".  They maintain their point of view, and are cut off again.  The original video is 3 minutes 47 seconds long. 

this video made a splash on blogs and was shown repeatedly on a state-run Russian news channel.  But, as people figured out pretty soon, the segment shown on Russian news was considerably edited.  It cut and spliced into a more dramatic propagandistic presentation of only 1 minute long, with extra coughs and noises included, as if coming from the host, that at times completely cover what the girl and her aunt say, and some sentences odiously mistranslated.  Media war at its best. 
 
later, in a CNN interview (\\\http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=204729&cid=1), Putin critisized Western Media for a biased coverage of Russia\Georgia conflict (which is true).  He  quoted this video as an example -- however, he was clearly quoting and referring to the edited version of the video that was shown in Russia, saying how " [the host] constantly interrupted her [..] as soon as he didn't like what she was saying, he would interrupt, cough, make noises".  He added a profanity, "the only thing let for him to do was to  soil his pants, but do it so expressively as to make them stop talking.  It's the only thing he didn't do, but, figuratively speaking, he was in that exact state".

so, to further his cause, he told a lie that is coached in nasty terms, is easily checked and is, by and large, an unnesesary one.  He is known as a direct speaker who doesn't mince words.  And if he knows he can get away with a word, be it expressing a thought or profanity, he says it (there were other examples of that). 

and, it seems lost on him that the situation looks hypocritical.    
   
It also seems that there is some highly invested emotional content coming through in Hildegarda's posts.

That could be.  Reading the news and the accounts of simple people who are stuck in bad circumstances, looking at the hypocrisy of PTB, is an emotional experience.  But the only way to to utilize this energy is to continue pushing and looking for clues. 

as for invested ... I am not invested in Putin being a psychopath, or not.  As Ark said, no politician is a spotless hero, and we don't need  heroes anyway. 

the question was asked, and I was simply sharing some information I had, that I thought may be of value.  Also, while translating Ludmila Putina's words, I realized that I really like translating as a process.   This also gives me new energy to use it in places and tasks where it's needed.

all I say is an OSIT and FWIW ...

 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 09:22:44 PM by Hildegarda »
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