Vladimir Putin’s Bizarre PR Stunts Serve a Political Purpose


August 02, 2015 14:57 EDT

In Russia, Putin’s image is carefully crafted to make him appear both loveable and powerful.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a big fan of the photo op. Here he is cuddling a tiger, feeding a fawn, riding a horse shirtless, uncovering ancient artifacts beneath the Black Sea waves, guiding birds on their migration patterns. While these PR products provoke ridicule in Western media, with numerous memes flooding the Internet, in Russia they actually serve an important political purpose.

Putin’s image is carefully crafted to make him appear both loveable and powerful—a man who relates to people and who can step into their world, even if just for one photo session.

In a system where power is wholly centralized around his figure, maintaining that Putin is safe and healthy and that Russia has nothing to worry about is an important job. And oh, look, a puppy!

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

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