Saturday, October 21, 2006
There seems to be no end to the poorer qualities being revealed by Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Butcher of Grozny has in recent weeks expelled Georgians legally living in the Russian Federation, seen one of his most high-profile critics, Anna Politkovskaya murdered, and joked with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert about the rape charges facing President Moshe Katsav. Now he has alleged that Georgia is gearing up for a war in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, something which the small Caucasian state might consider a little beyond its means when faced with the military might of Russia, not to mention its liberal interpretation of both the rules of engagement and the Geneva Conventions, as evidenced by the war in Chechnya. But Putin still alas commands much support in Russia. The Russians like their strongman tyrants.