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Friday, January 05, 2007

Putin as Despised in West as Bush, maybe More So

Kommersant reports that Vladimir Putin finds himself in the same category of loathing as does U.S. President George W. Bush (no wonder they are so chummy) in the view of European and American voters. Along with the crazed "president" of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the three are the most despised political leaders. In still worse news for Putin, his firebrand critic the newly elected Chancellor of Germany Angel Merkel won the poll. Kommersant states: "In all of the countries in the poll except the U.S., many more respondents dislike Putin than Ahmadinejad. In France, 73% of respondents dislike Putin (as compared to 60% who dislike Ahmadinejad), in Britain 60% (with 53% against Ahmadinejad) and in Spain 80% (with 70% against Ahmadinejad). While Putin has more supporters in the West than Bush, he trails behind such leaders as Hugo Chavez (except among the Spanish) and Fidel Castro (except among the Spanish and Americans)." So much for the bizarre idea that Russia and Putin somehow stand with a coalition in Europe against the "evil" United States. Remember those images from Slate and the Economist? Here's more evidence that it's also a ridiculous lie to suggest that Vladimir Putin is some sort of genius of public relations, winning friends and influencing people in the West. Nice try though, little Volodya. Better luck next time.

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