Putin and the Uses of History

“I do not need to prove anything to anyone,” declared Vladimir Putin. Convinced he is the steward of his country’s future, Putin masters Russia’s history—and seeks to manipulate it.

Issue: Jan-Feb 2012

AT LAST fall’s Valdai Discussion Club, the annual Moscow session where Russian leaders meet with Western journalists and academics, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin made clear he would issue no apologies for his recent maneuver to reclaim the Russian presidency from his protégé, Dmitri Medvedev, and dominate his country’s politics for perhaps the next dozen years. Responding to one question, he declared, “I do not need to prove anything to anyone.”

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