Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Russians View Mr. Putin With More Respect And Admiration Than Any Other Leader In The Country's History Over The Last Century

"Thousands of people paraded down Moscow's central avenue to Red Square on Tuesday in celebration of Victory Day, a national holiday that commemorates Russia's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. "Although there are fewer veterans every year, the parades get more and more beautiful," a veteran, Gennady R. Kyznetsov, told Komsomolskaya Pravda. The day is generally marked by a renewed sense of patriotism in a country that had seen a growing sense of apathy since the Soviet Union's collapse. "For me the holiday is a holy day that decided an important question — whether we were to be free men or slaves," the newspaper quoted a member of the Communist Party, Yegor Ligavech, as saying.

President Vladimir V. Putin used the opportunity to speak out against the recent rise in neo-Nazism and race-related crimes in Russia. In a speech published by the state paper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Mr. Putin said, "Those who are again trying to revive Nazi slogans are bringing the world to a standstill, to senseless bloodletting and cruelty." The recent series of hate crimes against dark-skinned foreigners have caused serious concern among human rights activists."


POLL SHOWS RUSSIANS LIKE PUTIN: According to a recent poll, Russians view Mr. Putin with more respect and admiration than any other leader in the country's history over the last century. In contrast, respondents expressed a great dislike for the president's two predecessors, Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Boris N. Yeltsin, who introduced sweeping economic and political reforms that many blame for current hardships (VEDEMOSTI Newspaper).

Compiled by Rachel Thorner "Victory Day Celebration Reflects Day of Patriotism in Russia" New York Times, May 10, 2006.


... "[In a New York Times/CBS Poll] seventy percent of respondents said that the country [the U.S.] was heading in the wrong direction, compared with 23 percent who said that they approved of the direction in which the country was heading"...

Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee "Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet" May 10, 2006

Before Cold War II: Then equally admired World Leaders Presidents Bush and Putin in the Moscow Kremlin on May 24, 2002.

"To see the kind of relationship that Presidents [George W.] Bush and [Vladimir] Putin have developed and to see Russia firmly anchored in the West, that's really a dream of 300 years, not just of the post-Cold War era," Condoleezza Rice in May 2002.

Photo credit: Reuters or AP via 2002Timeline2.htm With thanks.


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