It is pretty clear to even outside observers not paying too much attention to the international scene that the man running Russia is one Vladimir Putin.
The “former” president and current Prime Minister hand picked his successer in the top post, Dmitry Medvedev, who is the former head of the biggest Russian state money maker, Gazprom, the oil giant.
Medvedev, thanks to Putin, went from Gazprom to Putin’s chief of staff and then to the presidency of Russia. Medvedev has already said he will ask parliament to lengthen the term Russian president’s serve so that the next president, whom all analysts believe will be Putin (Part Deux), can have a longer Kremlin tour.
Putin, a former KGB intelligence operative, is the strong man of the Kremlin and all of Russia. After he sparked the Russian invasion of South Ossietia and Georgia last summer, he was quoted by the Times in London as saying he wanted to “hang by the balls” Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Putin made the “by the balls” remark to a man he considers to be a lightweight: French President Sarkozy. Peace and Freedom was told by a source inside the Moscow leadership that Putin refers to “lightweights” using derisive, feminine terms and names from fairy tales and stories.
Sarkozy and Medvedev have been called “Tinkerbell” by Putin, we were told.
Walt Disney’s version of “Tinkerbell”
Putin showed who had the balls in the Georgia invasion all right. Kremilin insiders said the attack was Putin’s brainchild and not of Medvedev’s making.
“Tinkerbell” just followed orders.
Then we have Mr. Putin’s he-man media blitz. Photographs of Putin hunting, fishing, swimming, lifting weights, skinning game and shooting have appeared routinely in the Russian media.
Putin’s “manliness” is rivaled on the world media stage only by Sarah Palin’s moose hunting….
Above: Putin the he-man hunter
Putin also engineered the intimidation of Barack Obama just hours after the American Presidential election, threatening Eastern Europe with Iskander ballistic missiles unless the U.S. backed off of its missile defense plan in Poland and the Czech Republic.
What does this all mean? It isn’t entirely clear.
But one thing is certain: inside Russia Putin is “the man.” The average Russian considers Putin a strong man who represents Russia very well. “He is bringing back Soviet greatness” one veteran told us.
And if weak-sister Tinkerbells in the West don’t like it, Russia and Putin don’t much care.
“Technically” No Longer President, Russia’s Putin Continues Some Functions
Russia’s Putin and the Great Deception
In Russia’s Putin-Medvedev shuffle, Putin is the lead dancer
Russia’s Putin threatened to hang Georgia’s leader ‘by the balls’
Putin’s favorite “Tinkerbells.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev are seen during the EU-Russia summit, in Nice, southern France, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)