… no one on Capitol Hill or in foreign policy wants to acknowledge the truth about Russia today. Everyone is happy with the vision of a slovenly, chaotic Russia ruled by a merciless dictator, whose regime is fragile and just needs a little push, like Nicholas II’s autocracy, to tilt over and collapse. This is rubbish and if it remains the foundation of US policy under Biden we can expect nothing much to happen to reduce the dangers of nuclear war …
Gilbert Doctorow, US Russia watcher
Gilbert Doctorow was commenting ahead of last week’s Biden-Putin summit, subject of my rhetoric and realpolitik post, also last week.
Prior to that summit Mr Putin gave an eighty-two minute interview to Keir Simmons, a Briton working for NBC News. If your exposure to the Russian President has been confined to sound-bytes, and your image of him the product entirely of what corporate media in the West say, I recommend finding time to hear him in his own words as the interviewer (frankly pretty dim) probes him on a variety of matters – some trivial, some of the greatest import to us all – you’ve likely only heard of in accounts that seldom rise above comic-book caricature.