Why Vladimir Putin Doesn't Think He's A Lawbreaker
With sanctions and speeches, the rest of the world has made it clear what it thinks of Vladimir Putin, but what does he think of himself?
Last week’s G20 summit made it painfully clear what a bulk of world leaders think about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin was scolded by everyone from President Obama, to British Prime Minister David Cameron to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Video via Bloomberg)
Granted, that was followed by a spell of conciliatory koala hugging with Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but the message got across.
World leaders, particularly Western ones, think Putin is destabilizing Ukraine and flaunting international law. (Video via VICE)
But that last point doesn’t jibe at all with how Putin seems to view himself: as a thoroughly law-abiding member of the global community.
Putin’s legalistic world view is evidenced in his speeches and official statements, where he meticulously points to legal precedents for his actions, and it’s reinforced by state broadcasters. (Video via President of Russia)
RT’s Oksana Boyko said, “If you look at his policies and his statements he’s actually very meticulous, very particular about upholding the law… He pays a lot of attention to making sure law is followed in Russia.”
As analyst Masha Lipman points out in The New Yorker, this habit was on display during Russia’s annexation of Crimea, when Putin used the country's quickly-held referendum as justification for the annexation.
“Egregious lawlessness underneath legal forms has become an inherent element of Russian life. … The pseudo-legality is simply a way to demonstrate who has the power.”
Putin has cited Western countries’ recognition of Kosovo’s independence as a legal precedent for Crimea’s annexation and argues the West is hypocritical in recognizing Kosovo but not Crimea. (Video via BBC)
A good example of Putin’s legalism is how he dealt with some Crimeans' resistance to the annexation.
Aiming to crack down on protests, many of which were carried out by the region’s native Tatar ethnic group, he pushed a law through the Russian legislature preventing Russians, including Crimeans, from advocating the violation of Russia’s territorial integrity. (Video via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Putin's emphasis on perceived legality separates him from other isolated world leaders like North Korea's Kim Jong-un, who tends to announce decisions unilaterally and assumes an almost divine authority. (Video via Korean Central Television)
This video includes images from G20 Australia.
Push for change as only 18 states require Holocaust education
A majority of states don't require Holocaust history in education curriculum. Survivor family members and museum curators are trying to change that.By Scripps News
Israel, Gaza fighters trade fire after deadly West Bank raid
The flare-up in violence casts a shadow on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's expected trip to the region next week.By Majdi Mohammed / AP
At the Illinois Holocaust Museum, holograms forever preserve survivors
Scripps News revisits the Illinois Holocaust Museum to hear from a survivor whose likeness and memories are preserved in holographic form.By Scripps News
US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December
The overall spending figures for the final two months of 2022 were the weakest in two years.By Gene J. Puskar / AP
Memphis Police set to release video of Tyre Nichols confrontation
Nichols died Jan. 10, three days after a confrontation with five Memphis Police officers. The officers have since been fired and charged in his death.By Gerald Herbert / AP
Britney Spears addresses fans after police are called to her home
The pop star is asking fans to respect her privacy after police conducted a welfare check based on "prank phone calls."By Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP