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Steven Fish


Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

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PUTIN THE TERRIBLE? Vladimir Putin and Russian Democracy

with Michael McFaul, Steven Fishvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, November 24, 2003

On March 14, 2004, Russians head to the polls to choose a president. Current president Vladimir Putin is expected to win a second term by an overwhelming margin. Will this be a genuine democratic show of support for a popular leader or the result of a corrupt political system headed towards dictatorship? When President Bush first met President Putin in June 2001, he declared, "I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.... I was able to get a sense of his soul." Is Putin the trustworthy leader that Bush saw or something much more dangerous?