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Vladimir Putin

May 7, 2012 | By Paul Whitefield
He's back: Vladimir Putin was inaugurated Monday to his third term as president of Russia.  One thing about the Russians -- they like their strongmen. First the czars, then Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and that lovable bear of a guy, Brezhnev.  OK, so Mikhail Gorbachev fell short of true strongmanship, and likewise Boris Yeltsin.  But the latter bequeathed us Putin, and the ex-KGB guy has proved more than capable at keeping himself in power. And how does he do it?  Well, for one thing, he pays attention to the little things, as Times staffer Sergei L. Loiko described : The center of Moscow, which was rocked by clashes between the anti-Putin demonstrators and police the day before, was quiet Monday morning.
April 26, 2014
Re “Watch Putin's lips,” Opinion, April 20 I don't like Russian President Vladimir Putin. I don't like the way he is dismantling nascent Russian democracy, and I do not like the way he jailed Pussy Riot. But the man is eating our lunch, and our foreign policy poohbahs cannot figure out why they are hungry. When the Crimean caper comes to be analyzed, we will understand that Putin has served a valuable function. He has revealed our president as being clothed in a vaporous foreign policy based on holding hands and making the world a better place.
January 18, 2012
A list of key Russians opposing Vladimir Putin, currently prime minister and seeking a return to the presidency: Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Once Russia's richest man. His conviction on charges of financial crimes widely regarded as politically motivated. Imprisoned now more than eight years, he continues to write on political themes. Alexei Navalny: Lawyer and blogger regarded as Russia's answer to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He has gathered incriminating material on Kremlin-controlled corporations.
April 25, 2014 | By David Horsey
Besides sending a chill up the spine of the international community, Vladimir Putin has accomplished one other thing by seizing Crimea and threatening the rest of Ukraine: Putin has brought back the bear.  Like Uncle Sam, the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey, the Russian bear was a stock character in decades of political cartoons drawn by pretty much every caricaturist in the business, including me. The dissertation I wrote for my...
February 20, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
The videos feature some of Russia's most famous actors, writers, directors, musicians and other VIPs, all united by the heartfelt slogan: "Why I am voting for Putin. " Violist Yuri Bashmet compares Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the great violin-maker Antonio Stradivari, saying that his "golden period is yet far ahead. " One of the country's most loved actors, Oleg Tabakov, says Putin has his vote in the March 4 presidential election because he "wants to be good and honest.
March 11, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
Most of the usual elements of a protest against Russian leader Vladimir Putin seemed to be in place on a sunny Saturday afternoon in downtown Moscow: riot police blocking every approach to the rally site, police helicopters buzzing overhead, mass chants of "Russia without Putin," white balloons and ribbons. Sharply lacking were the numbers and the passion. Less than a week after Putin was declared the overwhelming winner in Russia's presidential vote, about 10,000 people joined Saturday's march, a shadow of the 100,000-strong marches in Moscow in the last three months after disputed parliamentary elections.
February 26, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
Tens of thousands of Muscovites on Sunday linked hands along a 10-mile stretch of roadway in the capital in the latest mass protest against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is expected to win the March 4 presidential election. People of all ages participated in the peaceful protest, as thousands of passing motorists slowed their vehicles and honked to welcome them. Snow fell as cars, many of them bearing white ribbons, balloons, stickers and flowers, made their way along the protest route.
November 30, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda canceled a trip to Russia expected in mid-December, citing the health of famously tough Russian President Vladimir Putin, officials said Friday. Noda did not specify what health problem Putin might have, but Kremlin observers for months have speculated that the Russian president, an avid sportsman, was suffering from a serious back injury. The chatter began in September when guests and journalists at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok saw Putin limping.
June 17, 2013 | By Houston Mitchell
So, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Vladimir Putin swiped his Super Bowl ring in 2005, charging that the Russian president pocketed the ring after Kraft let him hold it during a visit to that country. Kraft was being honored at Carnegie Hall's Medal of Excellence gala on Thursday when he told the audience the following story: "I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, 'I can kill someone with this ring,' I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out. " Kraft's story went viral on the Internet, with many wondering why the Russian leader would want to steal the ring.
September 6, 2013 | By David Horsey
I'd love to be an invisible presence in the room the next time Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin sit down for a chat. The high stakes drama of the Cold War is gone, but the Russian president is the American president's nemesis on everything from sarin gas attacks in Syria to gay rights in Russia. To see them spar would be enlightening entertainment. After intelligence specialist Edward Snowden leaked information about U.S. cyberspying earlier this year, he went on the lam and found refuge in Moscow.
April 23, 2014 | By Jaak Treiman, Juris Bunkis and Daiva Navarrette
After Russia's recent actions in Ukraine, it's no surprise that other countries bordering Russia are wondering where they stand on Vladimir Putin's shopping list. That they are on the list is a given. Article 61 of Russia's Constitution promises that "the Russian Federation shall guarantee its citizens defense and patronage beyond its boundaries. " In other words, Russia shall protect any Russian citizen who is mistreated while outside Russia. On its face, Article 61 may seem reasonable.
April 20, 2014 | Doyle McManus
It was tempting to look at last week's diplomatic agreement to pull Ukraine back from the brink of war and see the beginning of a grand compromise between Russia and the West. Tempting, but mistaken. Vladimir Putin is still winning most of what he wants in Ukraine, and he's winning it more cheaply and more elegantly than he would by launching a full-scale military invasion. Last week's agreement, which called on pro-Russia militias to end their occupation of government buildings, was probably only a speed bump on the way toward bringing all of Ukraine under Moscow's influence.
April 19, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Amid low expectations, it came as a surprise to Western diplomats when Russia signed off on an agreement calling for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine to lay down their weapons and surrender the public buildings they have been occupying for weeks. What hasn't been surprising in the days since is Russia's apparent unwillingness to ensure that those terms are quickly and cleanly enforced. Russian President Vladimir Putin has two objectives in what the Ukrainian and Western governments say is his thinly disguised backing of the separatists.
April 12, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Russian President Vladimir Putin has massed tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine's eastern border, a reminder of his vow to protect ethnic Russians in the neighboring country. Using his army, however, is probably Plan B. Rather than repeating the "Crimean scenario" - invading, seizing and annexing territory - the Kremlin would prefer to keep Ukraine weak and divided by forcing a change in how it is governed, analysts say. Increasing regional autonomy at the expense of the central government would force Ukrainian authorities to constantly balance competing visions of the country to hold it together, and in effect give Moscow veto power through its influence among ethnic Russians in the east.
March 28, 2014 | By David Horsey
Vladimir Putin has been kicked out of an exclusive club, but he may not even care. This week, meeting in The Hague, leaders from seven of the world's biggest economic powers agreed to blackball Putin's Russia, reducing the G-8 to the G-7. They ratified the decision to move the group's upcoming annual world economic summit to Brussels, taking away from Putin the chance to host the event in Sochi, site of his recent successful Winter Olympic Games....
March 28, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - President Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin for an hour Friday in an effort to resolve the crisis over Ukraine, the first direct conversation between the two leaders after nearly two weeks of tension. Putin initiated the call, White House officials said. It came after a televised interview in which Obama called for Russia to pull its troops back from the Ukrainian border. In the phone conversation, Obama asked Putin to "put a concrete response in writing" to a proposal the United States has made to resolve the crisis, which involved Russia's incursion into the Crimean region of Ukraine.
October 2, 2011
Russia's strongman Re "Putin's back, unfortunately," Editorial, Sept. 28 Vladimir Putin's right to run for a third term as president of Russia is highly questionable. Such an idea would have never visited Bill Clinton, since the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: "No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice. " When a group of legal scholars was preparing a draft of the Russian Constitution adopted in 1993, they were looking at the 22nd Amendment as an example.
September 6, 2012 | By Khristina Narizhnaya, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - Vladimir Putin, Russia's macho president, is at it again. The head of state has famously tranquilized a tiger, attached a tracking device to a whale and rode a horse bare-chested, feats that helped boost his popularity. This week, dressed in a white coverall, he flew a motorized hang glider to teach endangered Siberian cranes a new migration path. A report on state-run television showed the usually icy Putin looking exhilarated as he soared Wednesday with a co-pilot around a field near the Siberian town of Salekhard, about 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow.
March 21, 2014 | By Henry Chu and Sergei L. Loiko
LONDON - Ukraine was tugged in opposite directions Friday in a reminder of the Cold War past, with the government in Kiev pushing westward through closer ties to the European Union and Russia pulling Crimea eastward by formally annexing it. Separate signing ceremonies in Brussels and Moscow illustrated the rapidly diverging paths of Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, which Ukraine insists still belongs to it but which Russia claims as its own....
March 21, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated.
MOSCOW -- Russian leader Vladimir Putin completed his nation's annexation of Crimea on Friday, signing legislation to make the Ukrainian breakaway peninsula part of Russia. Putin appeared to be in high spirits chairing Russia's Security Council session in the Kremlin to the extent that he was making jokes at the sanctions imposed by the West in reaction to the recent Russian armed  seizure of Crimea. He added that Russia would refrain for now from further tit-for-tat sanctions.
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