Friday, 19 May 2017

Putin the Mastermind?

If there's one thing that has struck me over the last year or so with all the focus on Russia it's this idea that Vladimir Putin is is some kind of genius strategist; part chess master, part Napoleon reborn, part the second coming of Alexander the Great. He's often portrayed as a slick operator who manipulates the strings of global politics to make others dance to his tune, always ending up with the dominoes falling exactly as he had planned. And of course in this Internet age it's spawned meme after meme with Putin characterised as the cool poker player who bluffs and raises his way to jackpot after jackpot, leaving everyone else at the table fumbling and arguing over a handful of chips while he quietly accumulates a stack that towers over all before him.

And it needs to stop.