JRL NEWSWATCH: “Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?” – New York Times Book Review/Daniel Beer

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Putin turned directly to McFaul and berated him for trying to ruin United States-Russia relations. * * * … McFaul concluded that [Putin] was ‘paranoid,’ a man of ‘fixed and flawed views’ who ‘saw us as the enemy,’ … that so long as he ruled Russia, ‘strategic partnership was impossible.’ … [But McFaul’s] relentless focus on Putin’s individual role tends to obscure the broader evolution of attitudes … within the Russian political establishment. … [with] only passing references to the siloviki – hard-liners with a background in the security services … uneasy about Medvedev’s embrace of the Reset. … File Photo of Vladislav Surkov with Mike McFaulPutin is far from alone in his hostility … [toward] NATO expansionism and … missile defense …. [or in blaming] the United States … [for] the overthrow of … [Ukraine’s] Yanukovych …. * * * [Blaming Putin] for … [difficult] United States-Russian relations … has its appeal. … [but a] more pessimistic view is that Putin represents a now-entrenched revanchist nationalism …. Deep-rooted File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behindantagonism toward the United States might well endure …'”

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