A recent article in Politico by Adi Ignatius gave an inside look to Putin, the man. The writer had joined Putin for dinner, and this dinner ended up being an enlightening insight into the man himself. There has been a lot written recently about the psyche of the Russian leader, but few have as unique a point of view as the one detailed in the Politico article. This unique perspective occurred when the writer had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Vladimir Putin, a rare occurrence to have such access with such a prominent world figure. The writer walks away with a unique experience, and a deep look into the worldview and principles of the man himself.
One of the most striking things to take away from the article is perhaps the greatest driving force behind the leader’s actions. Ignatius writes, “What struck me most during the conversation was the extent to which Putin is burdened by, and no doubt motivated by, a conviction that the West looks down on Russians.”
In this single sentence and observation, it is possible to uncover the very motivation of the man. Linking this to current events, Putin’s actions have flown in the face of the Western calls for Russia to back off in Ukraine. Putin has thoroughly enjoyed defying such calls, and seems to revel in the idea of taking on the United States. Other authorities in his government have taken to openly criticizing US figures, and one can only imagine that this stems from a feeling that these figures believe the West views Russia as inferior, a feeling they have sought to overrule by demonstrating strength and determination.
Putin is a serious man, according to Ignatius, laughing once out of their entire 210 minutes together. It is obvious that the president takes his role seriously, and he is no typical politician. He is a man with a KGB agent demeanor, but the political charisma to understand how to demonstrate strength and Russian perseverance. This stems from his belief that the breakup of the Soviet Union was “ill-conceived”, which demonstrates why he has been so committed to the acquisition of Crimea and the political downfall of pro-United States politicians in Ukraine.
Putin is an international man of mystery. His actions and responses to US and European officials have left many examining his intentions and his motivations. Little is understood about the man and the leader, but the dinner with Putin discussed in this article can provide a great insight into the man in both of those facets of his character. Regardless, analysts, politicians, and figures will continue to look into the man.