Can one be “too cynical” in assessing Vladimir Putin? When I started this blog twelve yeas ago, I avoided too much cynicism and ended up with wishful thinking. There comes frequently a temptation, according to Pushkin and Pasternak, “to look at things without fear in the hope of glory and goodness” but there are times when cold-headed despair is the most natural response to the shattering of illusions.
Mary Dejevsky is a highly experienced journalist, no doubt, but note that she is a “a member of the Valdai Group, invited since 2004 to meet Russian leaders each autumn.”
Access. Some journalists (and stock analysts) would pay any price – some pay by leaving all standards at the door – for access to a highly-placed VIP. Some would go to bat for Satan himself to be allowed a standing spot in his sulfurous ambit. The VIP of this story, VVP, is hardly a Byronian fiend, rather a petty one in the Screwtape-Wormwood mold, yet he is not without his toadpiping acolytes.