President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visibly glowed when his guest presented him with a state-of-the-art Kalashnikov assault rifle as a gift.President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visibly glowed when his guest presented him with a state-of-the-art Kalashnikov assault rifle as a gift.
In certain quarters Putin inspires an admiration that goes well beyond the demands of diplomatic protocol.In certain quarters Putin inspires an admiration that goes well beyond the demands of diplomatic protocol. Most countries, after all, have sound economic reasons to flatter Beijing — yet there is a striking dearth of world leaders aping the personal style of Xi Jinping. Yet Putin himself enjoys something of a personality cult among ordinary Chinese. One recent poll put Putin’s approval rating there at 92 percent, and his leading Chinese biographer says that his book on the Russian president has far outsold his works on Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, and Nelson Mandela.
Putinmania is a phenomenon at once broad and diffuse.Putinmania is a phenomenon at once broad and diffuse.In Britain, both English nationalist Nigel Farage and Scottish nationalist Alex Salmond have overshared about their feelings for the Russian leader. Putin garners sympathy from the far right (France’s Marine Le Pen) and the far left (Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek prime minister and leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party). In the United States, his apologists range from has-been Hollywood stars to liberal college professors to homophobic conservatives.
He’s a bad boy who can sneer about Hillary Clinton’s femininity and make jokes about rape. It’s a sad fact of human psychology, but there are plenty of people out there who find this sort of thing sexy.