"...if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin."
Today Vladimir Putin was named the Person of the Year by Time magazine. Our readers can find multiple articles about the Russian President by using the search engine of Russia Blog (to your left) or by simply scrolling through the archives and categories of this website. Please visit the extended post to read Time's transcript of an interview with President Putin and to access links to the related video interview with President Putin at his private residence (highly recommended!), Time's photo essay of modern Moscow, Time's video of the Russian country-side and more. Russia Blog congratulates Mr. Putin for the nomination and encourages our readers to get acquainted with Time magazine's materials on the topic.
TIME's Interview with Vladimir Putin (click the link to view the video)
Russia Today TV interviews Time magazine Deputy Managing Editor Adi Ignatius on the selection of Putin as Time's Person of the Year
Choosing Order Before Freedom
By Richard Stengel
In a year when Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize and green became the new red, white and blue; when the combat in Iraq showed signs of cooling but Baghdad's politicians showed no signs of statesmanship; when China, the rising superpower, juggled its pride in hosting next summer's Olympic Games with its embarrassment at shipping toxic toys around the world; and when J.K. Rowling set millions of minds and hearts on fire with the final volume of her 17-year saga--one nation that had fallen off our mental map, led by one steely and determined man, emerged as a critical linchpin of the 21st century.
Russia lives in history--and history lives in Russia. Throughout much of the 20th century, the Soviet Union cast an ominous shadow over the world. It was the U.S.'s dark twin. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia receded from the American consciousness as we became mired in our own polarized politics. And it lost its place in the great game of geopolitics, its significance dwarfed not just by the U.S. but also by the rising giants of China and India. That view was always naive. Russia is central to our world--and the new world that is being born. It is the largest country on earth; it shares a 2,600-mile (4,200 km) border with China; it has a significant and restive Islamic population; it has the world's largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction and a lethal nuclear arsenal; it is the world's second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia; and it is an indispensable player in whatever happens in the Middle East. For all these reasons, if Russia fails, all bets are off for the 21st century. And if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin... read more
A Tsar Is Born
By Adi Ignatius
No one is born with a stare like Vladimir Putin's. The Russian President's pale blue eyes are so cool, so devoid of emotion that the stare must have begun as an affect, the gesture of someone who understood that power might be achieved by the suppression of ordinary needs, like blinking. The affect is now seamless, which makes talking to the Russian President not just exhausting but often chilling. It's a gaze that says, I'm in charge.
This may explain why there is so little visible security at Putin's dacha, Novo-Ogarevo, the grand Russian presidential retreat set inside a birch- and fir-forested compound west of Moscow. To get there from the capital requires a 25-minute drive through the soul of modern Russia, past decrepit Soviet-era apartment blocks, the mashed-up French Tudor-villa McMansions of the new oligarchs and a shopping mall that boasts not just the routine spoils of affluence like Prada and Gucci but Lamborghinis and Ferraris too... read more
A Bible, But No E-mail
By Richard Stengel and Adi Ignatius
On Dec. 12, editor-in-chief John Huey, managing editor Richard Stengel, deputy managing editor Adi Ignatius and Moscow correspondent Yuri Zarakhovich met with Putin at the presidential dacha for 3 1/2 hours. Here are excerpts:
How do you see the relationship between Russia and the U.S., going forward?
Russia and the U.S. were allies during the Second and the First World Wars, which allows us to think there's something objectively bringing us together in difficult times. Today to be successful, one must be able to reach agreements. The ability to compromise is not a diplomatic politeness but rather taking into account and respecting your partner's legitimate interests.
Can you give an example?
The North Korean nuclear issue. We treated the issue very seriously. We were thinking about each other's interests and about the interests of the country in question. In the end we resolved the issue to a large extent... read more
Lives of the Russian Rich
(follow the link to watch the photo essay). Russia Blog wants to point out the fact that the photos portrait not the "rich" but the Moscow's new upper middle class (based upon the drinks on the tables, location, and brands).
A Russian Roadtrip
(follow the link to watch the video of the Russia's country)
In Search of Russia's Big Idea
By Nathan Thornburgh
"Like a Soviet officer, dammit!" Vladimir slapped at my elbow to make sure my arm was in the commissar-approved position for drinking -- elbow out shoulder-high, like that of a soldier marching in front of Lenin's tomb, except with a shot glass at the lips. "To America!" he bellowed, and the three of us drank another round of Johnnie Walker Red at the FEP restaurant in Ostashkov, a drowsy lakeside town in Russia's Tver province north of Moscow.
Vladimir, a state senator in the province, with a buzz cut and a nose as red as fire, sat back down in his seat. A few minutes earlier, we had been in the restaurant's kitchen, watching the cook loosely butcher a massive pike and throw all the parts -- head, fins, body, entrails -- into a pot of boiling oil. Vladimir was now picking through the platter of fried fish innards. To his left, Sasha, the restaurant's owner, a local businessman built like a boxer, wasn't done with me yet. "Russia should be a strong country. It's better that way, even for our friends in America," he said. And with that, he grabbed my face and planted a vinegary kiss on my cheek... read more
More comments from Mr. Ignatius on Time's reasons for the pick, and reaction from Americans on the streets of Manhattan