vladimir putin

Vladimir Putin, 1



pair strong run/ran/ran (3)
fan (2) startup headquarters
PR brand enduring
leader network fashionable
rare remain cut/cut/cut (3)
ail cast (3) predecessor
spy macho figure (3)
stunt key (2) annexation
argue so far (2) drive/drove/driven (2)
illegal triumph ashamed
earn promote choose/chose/chosen
pride appeal shape (2)
mock sanction encourage
slump head (2) head of state
reduce support condemn
blame sense (3) represent (2)
co- takeover don’t care
critic soar (2) airwaves (2)
rating analyst alternative






A powerful image of a leader still strong after fifteen years.

When Vladimir Putin first ran for president, this pair was too young to vote — but they are now his biggest fans.

Their design headquarters looks like an internet startup or a PR firm. But the brand they are promoting here is President Putin. So fashionable they say, people want to even wear him.

Oleg Sokolov, “Network” Youth Group: “It’s because he is a strong leader; I’d say the strongest in the world. With Yeltsin, I was ashamed he ran my country. But Putin represents strength. That’s important.

I am not ashamed anymore.”

Vladimir Putin cuts a very different figure from his ailing predecessor. The ex-spy was cast as a macho man of action from the very start.

Stunts like this help his ratings soar over eighty percent (80%). But it’s driven by policy too . . . like the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Condemned by the West as an illegal takeover, here it’s seen as a triumph.
Fifteen years after he first came to power here, Vladimir Putin remains so popular that young designers actually choose to print his face on clothes like this.

It’s not every country where that would be possible, but the reason many Russians give for Mr. Putin’s enduring appeal is the fact that he’s them back a sense of national pride.

So even chocolates are political these days, mocking Western sanctions over Ukraine, and encouraging buyers to eat the heads of state behind them.

A long economic slump could well reduce support for Mr. Putin. But so far, many blame the West for that, and not their president.

Roman Eldarkhanov, Co-Owner, “Confael Chocolate”: “Well, of course we earn less. But we don’t care since it’s the question of our country.”

State TV plays a major role in shaping those views. Dimitry Nekrasev is a rare critic on the airwaves these days. He argues that’s key to Mr. Putin’s popularity: people just don’t see any alternative.

Dmitry Nekrasov, Media Analyst: “About ninety percent (90%) of Russians receive information mainly from TV channels. About fifty-five (55%) of Russians receive their information only from TV channels.”

And so, Vladmir Putin’s reign continues. And here, they say they told me they are quite happy to see him running Russia for another fifteen years.

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1. Can politics be very “cool, hip and fashionable”, or is it only dour and serious?

2. President Vladimir Putin was different from President Boris Yeltsin. True or false? How were they different?

3. Does Putin have a weak or macho image? Give examples.

4. The West and Russians have the same attitude towards Putin. Is this right or wrong?

5. Because of a weaker economy, Russians have become skeptical of Putin. Is this correct or incorrect? Do they blame Putin?

6. Is there completely open and free news coverage in Russia?

7. Are Russians satisfied and proud of Putin? Would they like to see term limits?


A. What do you, your friends or people in your country think of Putin?

B. Who were some great or popular leaders of your nation?

C. Do different people have differing opinions about different leaders?

D. How long should presidents or prime ministers govern? Should there be term limits?

E. What will happen in the future?

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