Putin the Risk-Taker

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s entire career, from the Soviet KGB in Dresden to the Russian presidency in Moscow, has displayed bold risk-taking. In situations where he has been under great pressure to make difficult decisions, he has repeatedly demonstrated a propensity or ability to act promptly, decisively, and with considerable effectiveness. A few examples from key turning points in Putin’s political life will suffice to demonstrate these points.

Russia's Military Is Catching Up to the West by Fighting in Syria

There has been much sensational media attention over Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to shore up Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, with hints that it could even be the start of a second Afghanistan for Russia. But there are strong incentives for Russia to fight in a limited role in Syria. The New York Times recently highlighted this, detailing how Russia under Putin has been keen on advancing its military prowess and Syria has therefore become Russia’s proving ground.

Putin's winter fairy tale

Vladimir Putin's position on Syria and Ukraine may have been criticised in the West, but Russia's president is adored and admired by many at home, as Steve Rosenberg discovers on a visit to Volokolamsk.
In Russia, there is something magical about the early winter snow. It transforms muddy fields and dilapidated farmhouses into a fairy tale - a snow globe you want to pick up and shake and could stare at for hours.
Of course, every fairy tale has its heroes. And, 70 miles from Moscow, so does this one.

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