Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vladimir, "You Look Absolutely Mahvelos"

Another Photo of Bare-Chested Putin
Few people were shocked when President Medvedev of Russia announced he would not seek re-election, effectively ceding the presidency back to Vladimir Putin. It was clear from the start that Medvedev was never more than a placeholder for Putin, and Medvedev's plans to move Russia toward more democratic principles were just sound soundbites intended for a gullible audience.

Putin Earlier this Month
For the last three years while he was sidelined as Prime Minister, Putin has never left the public eye. We've seen Putin hunting a gray whale in the Pacific, riding a motorcycle with a group of bikers, posing bare-chested while fishing, and diving down to the sea floor to recover an ancient amphora. His most recent photos have him standing bare-chested (yet again) in front of a doctor confirming that he's in excellent health. The message is clear: Look at me, I'm the strongest man in the country, if not the world.

Putin Last Year
Yet, Putin seems to have been doing more than just posing for the cameras. His face seems to have changed. Has Putin had a facelift or has he just got plenty of sleep? When you look at recent photos of President, oops, Prime Minister Putin, the wrinkles around his eyes seem to have disappeared, and his face looks smoother and more youthful. Perhaps, Putin has adopted the mantra made famous by Fernando in the 1980s, "It's not how you feel, it's how. You. Look!"

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