From the Vineyard of the Saker:
Who is Mr. Putin? by Mikhail Khazin (MUST SEE!)
There is a lot of nonsense and garbage floating around on the Internet about the personality of Vladimir Putin, mostly written folks who not only know nothing about him, but who don't even understand the basics about how the Russian state works. Today, I want to share with you a video (especially translated for this purpose by the Russian Team) in which the renowned Russian economist Mikhail Khazin shares his view of Putin and of Putin's current position vis-à-vis the hostile and russophobic West. I don't always agree with Khazin, and even in this case I don't fully agree with some of what he says, but I think that Khazin has really "nailed the bottom line on the head" (how is that for a combo-neologism?). Seriously, I think that Khazin is fundamentally correct, especially about the West's refusal to accept Putin as anything else than a very junior partner (and even that was in the past, now they want him dead). Where I disagree with Khazin is when he implies that Putin wanted or even believed that such an honest partnership was possible. Medvedev - yes. But not Putin. By training and by trade he knew the West, and especially its ruling elites, extremely well and I believe that Putin pretended to play the "partnership game" for as long as possible to buy as much time as possible for his party which I refer to as the "Eurasian sovereignists" (folks like Shoigu or Rogozin), as opposed to the "Atlantic Integrationists" (folks Medvedev or Kudrin). Anyway, listen to Khazin - who is superbly informed and who knows his stuff - and get a rare insider view of what is really happening behind the Kremlin walls.