Bold and unpredictable maneuvers are supposed to be the trademark political style of Russian President Vladimir Putin; last week, however, he surprised observers of various persuasions not with a proactive move but with an unusual act of avoidance. Putin’s annual marathon end-of-the-year press conference has been canceled, as has the traditional “direct line” with carefully trained audiences, and his constitutionally prescribed annual address to the Federal Assembly has been postponed indefinitely (RTVi.com, December 15). Speculation about Putin’s allegedly deteriorating health, always a dime a dozen, are rather subdued as the Russian president has been visibly active in multiple meetings with various loyal subjects, sometimes even face-to-face, as well as recently traveling to Kyrgyzstan. More convincing appears to be the subversive proposition discussed by many watchers-in-exile that Putin does not want to hear even slightly uncomfortable questions and cannot find a positive or reassuring theme for his typically pompous address (Svoboda, December 15).
(Russia) La leadership bellica di Putin vacilla e si affievolisce (fonte: Pavel K.Baev, The Jamestown Foundation)