Thursday, February 27, 2020

Putin’s Behavior on the Hockey Ice Says More about Him than Almost Anything Else He Says or Does, Popkov Argues

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 21 – Vladimir Putin likes to get on the ice and show his prowess as a hockey player, but the way he plays the game, with those who are supposed to be defending against his shots helping them go into the net, says “more about his personality than most of his domestic and even foreign policy moves,” opposition commentator Roman Popkov says.

            When Putin’s shots go in with such obvious assistance, the Kremlin leader always appears very pleased with himself even though he invariably puts on a very solemn face as if he had achieved something ( 

            Russian journalists should be asking him how he really feels about this faked game in which he can’t help but look like a winner, Popkov says. “How do you feel, Vladimir Vladimirovich, when you are playing such hockey? Are you satisfied with yourself? Is it hard?” Even his most ardent loyalists will have to laugh as he tries to come up with a suitable answer.

            Putin “wins” on the ice just as he does everywhere else, not by superior skill against real opponents but because he has chosen just where he will compete and those are places where he can insure that the people nominally lined up against him are either weaker than he or ready to do his will.

            As a result, they are not real victories but simulacra – and when people realize that, they won’t be celebrating the great man any more. They will be laughing at him because the mask will have fallen away revealing someone inadequate to his position but capable of staging things to look otherwise.

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