Is this part of the demonization of Putin? As I wrote 10 days ago:
Meanwhile, NPR (Annenberg Foundation/CPB) reports that Conde Nast (Jewish owned, founded by a Russian Jew), which owns GQ, is trying to keep a story about Putin's "Dark Rise to Power" away from Russian readers. As if that could possibly work. As a matter of fact, it would seem to me that NPR doing a story about such a cover-up will pretty much ensure that the information about Putin will get around, and with just enough of a conspiracy patina to convince those who don't normally traffic in conspiracy theories that this one could be true, since the legitimate but left-leaning NPR dug it up. There's a tool for every job."But these stories will get out, they will get read in Russia. They're being somewhat naive to believe that by limiting this to their American edition that somehow they're preventing this from being read."Naive my ass. Maybe they want to build mystery around Vladimir Putin. Maybe it's helpful to certain people if Vladimir Putin has a tarnished reputation. Maybe if some doubt surrounds Vladimir Putin's motives, then he can take some of the blame when something goes down. And anyway, speaking of naive, does anyone think the Russian people are naive about Vladimir Putin or anything else? For pete's sake, the Russian people must be some of the toughest people on earth. Of course Putin has a shady background! And I would imagine that Russians consider it an asset not a liability. So this whole thing doesn't pass the smell test to me. I mean, if anyone is naive on this planet it has to be Americans who believe just about anything as long as they get it from teevee. I think Americans are the mark, as usual.
WSJ has Medvedev throwing Putin under the bus
MOSCOW -- President Dmitry Medvedev, in a clear bid to separate himself from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday outlined a manifesto of change for Russia that is deeply critical of the system Mr. Putin has created.
Mr. Medvedev also said he could run again for the presidency in 2012, when Mr. Putin would be allowed under Russia's constitution to retake the job. "I don't exclude anything," Mr. Medvedev told the Valdai club, a group of international and domestic academics and journalists.
In an ornate hall overlooking the Kremlin, Mr. Medvedev elaborated on his vision to change Russia. Last week, Mr. Medvedev launched a new wave of proposals in an article posted online. During a question-and-answer session on Tuesday that lasted more than 2½ hours, he stood by his withering critique of Russia's "primitive" resource-based economy, systemic corruption and lack of pluralistic democracy. Mr. Medvedev's article had called for more democracy, a crackdown on corruption and a bigger focus on the individual in business and politics.
OH AND LOOK HERE, MEDVEDEV ALSO HINTS AT U-TURN OVER IRAN SANCTIONS!!! JUST IN TIME HE COMES TO HIS SENSES.
President Medvedev gave the first hint yesterday that Russia was prepared to perform a significant policy U-turn and support US moves for sanctions against Iran.
Speaking in Moscow, the Russian leader went out of his way to be more conciliatory with the West before his visit this month to the US where he will attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York and the G20 summit of economic powers in Pittsburgh. A key issue on the agenda will be efforts by America, Britain and France to impose economic sanctions against Tehran if the regime does not agree to curb its nuclear programme.
It is widely expected that President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who will also be in New York, will reject any pressure from the international community. Russia has previously refused to support the imposition of sanctions on Iran, not least because it enjoys strong trade relations with the country.
But yesterday Mr Medvedev said: “Sanctions are not very effective on the whole, but sometimes you have to embark on sanctions and they can be right.”
His remarks contradicted his Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, who last week ruled out sanctions. The possibility of a U-turn will come as a huge relief to Western diplomats who had largely given up on Russia supporting them. Trade sanctions against Iran would need the support of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, Britain, China, France and Russia. If Russia joined the Western nations, Beijing would be expected to drop its objections.
Reaching an international consensus on Iran is seen by many as the only way to force the regime into serious negotiations and avoid the threat of a unilateral military strike by Israel against Iranian nuclear facilities before the country can build its first atomic bomb.