Part of his press conference today, translated:
A brief rundown of Putin’s strange, rambling press conference wapo.st/1hIWnaa—
Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 04, 2014
Vladimir Putin: "Our major concern is the orgy of nationalists, and extremists and anti-Semites on the streets of Kiev."
— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) March 4, 2014
After watching the full presser, Ioffe decides that “Merkel was absolutely right: Putin has lost it”:
For the last few years, it has become something like conventional knowledge in Moscow journalistic circles that Putin was no longer getting good information, that he was surrounded by yes-men who created for him a parallel informational universe. “They’re beginning to believe their own propaganda,” Gleb Pavlovsky told me when I was in Moscow in December. Pavlovsky had been a close advisor to the early Putin, helping him win his first presidential election in 2000. (When, in 2011, Putin decided to return for a third term as president, Pavlovsky declared the old Putin dead.) And still, it wasn’t fully vetted information. We were like astronomers, studying refractions of light that reached us from great distances, and used them to draw our conclusions.
Today’s performance, though, put all that speculation to rest.