Like that memorable phrase from that religious dude, 'dark night of the soul', consider this the 'cold Siberia of the cell'--the cell which has a certain Russian Federation President locked up in fantasy about some fur-lined Russian doll of an empire long lost.
Let us go, then, you and I, the T.S. Eliot within urges me to write, go deep within the psyche of Mr. P. in search of his 'pravda', if you will. Yes, I know its use in Sovietism was nothing if not painfully ironic (inasmuch as this appropriated Czech word means 'truth', ahem, a good friend of your author).
But, before we get to his head, let's appraise that flabby wannabe machismo frame of his, fed with perhaps too much caviar and borscht.
This Napoleonically not-very-complex person stands, what, 5'8", featuring too ample a pair of man-breasts. Aye, there's the rub-a-dub-tub of his inferiority complex, justified as it may well be, the unattended (by situps) core of this 'body politik'.
And, now, he seems ready and willing to take it out on the rest of his waning 140 million or so populace, and especially those who, say, wear tights at the Bolshoi, with bodies he'd almost die for, albeit not sexually.
Let's turn, then, to the less-obvious delicts of this arrogant figurehead of a once and nevermore empire, and the mind sealed hermetically within his sad Slavic skull not unlike Hamlet's Yorick, but without the infinite jest, or, any jest for all that we know.
One attempt at objective fairness before we put...in for Vladimir's couch trip. It is sadly inarguable that the pitiful rationalization 'the Russians have never known democracy' should not be simplistically tossed at him/them, given the glass house we endured via a certain Bush dynasty, peopled by Georges I & II, the former, lest we forget, having served (whom/what?) as CIA Director under a Presidential duo named Nixon and Ford, neither much interested in the electoral democratic process, relatively speaking. George I even begged that peanut farmer Carter to keep him there, in....power, for the...greater good (again, of whom/what?) And let's not forget that, but for Washington's sense of history and its rare Cinncinatus, the Continental Army would have preferred that he succeed George III as King of America.
No, Mr. Putin's attitude stems from something more primordial, a sort of Napoleonic complex in reverse; Napoleon, and his code at least presaged the present day EU, despite his inadequate height, bad French and overall lack of a certain Frenchness in Josephine's bed. He's an atavism, a throw back to a time when empire and Potemkin villages were more than enough for the serfs and their masters.
So, here's the tripartite argument I'll make for the present dismal state of relations betwixt our two....states, both, in varying and various degrees of separation from vaunted 'democracy' as once envisioned by Locke and Jefferson:
1/K..eenly aware of his very average stature, would it kill this Putin fellow to lift a few weights back in the man cave he otherwise properly dwells in as neo-troglodyte? And, while you're in there, Vlad, find a new tailor, preferably a nice label, maybe Prada, sounds close enough, right, for the shirts you really do need to wear to cover up that, well, you know;
2/G..irls just wanna have fun, just ask Pussy Riot or Madonna; you, on the other hand, seem quite pleased with your growing comparability to another Vlad, something having to do with 'The Impaler', given that you appear prepared to suck...the lifeblood out of your otherwise fun-lacking populace;
3/B..igotry, Vlad, will hardly win you friends or influence people, guess they never translated that famous book by what's his name, that evil American, Mr. Peale. Try reading it, his name starts with a 'P', that's a start.
Just a final note about Russian history--they called your precursor Peter the Great for a reason and while he wasn't necessarily a friend to the serfs, he did give them, and us, St. Petersburg and The Hermitage. What will you, Vladimir, leave to your people, and the world? Another Cherynobl?