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February 24, 2005

Saint Vladimir: Putin Religious, by Russian Standards?

Russian President Putin communicates well with the Christian U.S. President George Bush because Putin is quite religious, by Russian standards. So said Mortimer Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report today on Fox News.

That is an unexpected thought, given Putin’s history as the chief thug of the KGB.

But evidently, Putin has many faces. This from The Atlantic Online:

“Over the years, Atlantic correspondent Paul Starobin has researched Putin's history and background and spoken both with those who know him personally and with political analysts who have studied his behavior. In "The Accidental Autocrat," Starobin portrays Russia's leader as a complex mixture of seemingly incongruous parts. There is Putin the fighter—a man who describes himself as having a "pugilistic nature," and who has long held a black belt in judo. There is Putin the canny former KGB operative—rigorously trained to calculate his every move and to dispense information sparingly. And then there is Putin the believer—a man of faith, who as a child absorbed his mother's strong Orthodox Russian beliefs and continues to practice devoutly.”

I have a relative who teaches in a seminary in Moscow. I’ll see what he thinks about all of this.

Posted by Jim at February 24, 2005 03:03 PM

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