Patterico's Pontifications


Vladimir Putin Is Missing In Action

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:10 am

[guest post by Dana]


Russian President Vladimir Putin is missing in action. As such, he’s become a trending personality of online satirists – much to the dismay of the Kremlin. Given that Russia’s economy is tanking, it is still at war in Ukraine, and that opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was assassinated less than a month ago, Putin’s absence from public view is rattling nerves.

Putin was expected to attend important events and meetings this week and was a no-show. The Kremlin denies he is ill and did some laughable staging on state media to make it appear it was business as usual. Illness would be be perceived as weakness and that would be problematic:

First, manly men don’t get sick. Putin’s carefully cultivated image rests on never showing weakness, which is crucial in hypercompetitive Russia. If one shows some weakness, then one is all weakness—and therefore prey. This is why Putin never apologizes and, in the rare instance in which he reverses a decision, will do so long after the public gaze or outcry has moved on. Putin is the national leader and does not admit mistakes. It is beneath national leaders to do such lily-livered things.

Also, there are rumors that as a result of Nemtsov’s murder (which is considered an inside job), a split in political forces has been revealed, thus weakening Putin’s hold on power and forcing him into a fight to maintain control.

The Kremlin is also denying speculation that Putin (age 62) flew to Switzerland to be with his girlfriend (age 31) as she gave birth to their love-child. Of course, given that the Kremlin also denied Putin had any sort of relationship with the young woman in the first place, how could he have possibly fathered a child with her?

However, it’s also possible that Putin’s absence is simply Putin flexing a different sort of “muscle”, as suggested by Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group:

Putin is nothing if not capricious. He enjoys keeping people waiting … and guessing, it’s part of a display of the trappings of power.

Or perhaps it’s nothing other than Putin experiencing a bit of stress, just as Dmitri Peskov, Putin’s spokesman said in a recent interview. The same interview in which he also felt compelled to reassure listeners that Putin’s handshake can “still break hands”.

Despite nine days with no public sightings of Russia’s ubiquitous presence on state media, all is well. Or so they want you to believe.


35 Responses to “Vladimir Putin Is Missing In Action”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. Maybe we just have to wait and see who stands where on tge podium for the May Day parade…

    kishnevi (91d5c6)

  3. First, manly men don’t get sick. Putin’s carefully cultivated image rests on never showing weakness, which is crucial in hypercompetitive Russia. If one shows some weakness, then one is all weakness — and therefore prey.

    oh my goodness this is simplistic and juvenile

    sounds like your typical dimbulb washington post propaganda slut ass-pull to me

    happyfeet (831175)

  4. very silly, but she did catch a life raft from the Washington Post, so cut her some slack,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  5. “Have you Seen this Revanchist Neo-Imperialist Running Dog Dictator?”

    Call 1-800-DED-MEAT with any tips or comments.

    jakee308 (49ccc6)

  6. Various liberals have had a soft spot in their heart for horrible Communist tyrants (Mao, Castro, Stalin and his successors) over the past 100 years presumably because such figureheads meant well. IOW, they had (supposedly) good intentions!, they were looking out for the common man!, they had concerns for the proletariat! Of course, why various liberals are responding in kind to Islamofascists and Islamofascism doesn’t fall in that same sequence, illustrating just how really bankrupt such people’s sentiments really are.

    In my case, I will admit to having a soft spot in my heart for Vladimir Putin — amoral as he is — because of his interest in supporting traditional (or less leftwing wacky) cultural Western norms, such as traditional marriage. In turn, parts of the left despise Putin (instead of reactionary Islamicists—how ironic!) because of this same thing.

    Moreover, the two sides in the Ukraine, of who is truly good, truly bad, are a thousand times murkier than what was the case with Hussein’s Iraq. Yet, are some members of the left not quite as bothered about the US and Europe demonizing Putin?

    Hmm. Interesting. Contradictions up the ying-yang.

    Mark (c160ec)

  7. less than you would think:

    yes, he’s a traditionalist yet he’s an ally of Iran

    narciso (ee1f88)

  8. Vladimir. Maybe he’s out to have a look at the mysterious Siberian holes that Salon has been trying to sell the gullible as evidence of global warming.

    (Scientists are freaking out. Finally! Something we can point at from a distance and pretend disaster, that nobody will get a good look at, because Russians!)

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  9. happyfeet @ 3,

    Can’t we just all enjoy Ioffe’s humor created by Putin’s absence? There’s something laughable about an extremely vain leader who takes himself oh-so-seriously, disappears from sight and unintentionally winds up the satirical butt of an internet meme.

    Dana (86e864)

  10. Do they have golf courses in Russia?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  11. less than you would think:

    The very ambiguous, contradictory, two-faced nature of the Ukraine, detailed in that article, is a good reason why a “hands off” policy of the US, if not EU too, towards that part of the world is the way to go. When I see Republicans or people of the right (and certainly of the left) instead deeming that we in the West should take a more hands-on — or definitely confrontational — approach to Ukraine and Russia, I become exasperated and annoyed, sort of like when do-gooders similar to Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, promote nanny-state policies and programs.

    Mark (c160ec)

  12. i’m ambivalent i guess

    happyfeet (831175)

  13. Yoga retreat in the Berkshires?

    mg (31009b)

  14. The dash cam videos are solid gold though.
    First war to be filmed on dash cam

    steveg (794291)

  15. Here’s a helpful clock to keep track of the time since Putin has last appeared in public.
    Shrodinger’s Putin

    No. It’s nice. They have dancing girls to take your mind off worry over Putin’s whereabouts.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  16. I was reading somwheres the assassin team leader is the right hand of the Putin appointed Chechen strongman.

    Events just get more interesting seemingly.

    DNF (0ed5fc)

  17. We know our main fella is getting fit for mom jeans and a ride on a girls bike.

    mg (31009b)

  18. 18. @ Breitbart perhaps.

    DNF (0ed5fc)

  19. Putin uner uner. Putin uner, Putin uner.

    Unless you speak Russian you don’t get the full effect, but it’s a catchy tune.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  20. Putin’s been out strangling elk, out of season, but he plays by his own rules.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. If we hear he has a cold, it means he’s dead or at death’s bed, and we should look forward to an elaborate state funeral. (See e.g., Brezhnev, Chernenko, and Andropov). If we hear he had open heart surgery, he’s fine and he’ll be back on the job soon. If we hear he got hurt in an automobile accident, it means there was a palace coup by the FSB and he’ll probably never be heard from again.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Greetings:

    Any word on 55 year old non-comrade Nemtsov’s 23 year old Ukrainian girl friend ???

    11B40 (844d04)

  23. 2. kishnevi (91d5c6) — 3/14/2015 @ 10:15 am

    Maybe we just have to wait and see who stands where on tge podium for the May Day parade… I think there is no more May Day paradde – and there certainly is no parade on November 7 (the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution) although there still is a Women’s Day (March 8) and victory celebration of World War II (May 9)

    Sammy Finkelman (a551ff)

  24. 24. Nemtsov’s girlfriend had a little trouble getting out of Russia, but she rather quickly managed to get to Ukraine..

    Sammy Finkelman (a551ff)

  25. The next time you see Putin, he will bear a strong resemblance to the new Bruce Jenner.

    bobby b (cb44ec)

  26. Greetings, Sammy Finkelman: [ #26 @ 3/15/2015 @ 9:35 am ]

    Hopefully out of the Russian fire and into the Ukrainian frying pan ???

    11B40 (844d04)

  27. not that direct a connection:

    but most of these liquidations have had a chechen connection.

    narciso (ee1f88)

  28. The Moscow subway bombings in 1999, for which Litvinenko got assassinated with polonium in Great Britain in 2006, had a Chechen connection, and so does the Charlie Hebdo attack (the source of the weapons)

    Sammy Finkelman (a551ff)

  29. Maybe he wanted to give teh public something else to talk about, while the military withdraws from teh Ukraine?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  30. the the

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  31. ugh, i’m more uncomfortable with the idea of a coup against Putin then with Putin staying in charge.

    seeRpea (b6bbec)

  32. The crisis is over and it looks like Putin was just “taking the p!$$,” as our Aussie brethren would put it.

    Where was he for 11 days? He’s not saying. But he jokes that life wouldn’t be as interesting without gossip…

    Steve57 (d68bce)

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