Home > World events > Thank you Mr. Putin, I am so relieved

Thank you Mr. Putin, I am so relieved

For a while there, you had me worried. I’d been reading about your plans to retire from politics, to ponder more essential questions such as the importance of spirituality, our relation to nature, our place in the universe. I’d heard your interview about your modest datcha recently acquired near Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana. You said, if the translation served you right, that you wanted to spend your remaining days in meditation and among books in the shadow of the writer of “War and Peace,” deriving inspiration from his moral thinking and asceticism. You hadn’t lost your sense of humor, though, nor your justly celebrated manliness, when you added that you would also spend much time outdoors, riding horses as well as your beloved motorcycles, wrestling bears, chopping wood and rowing on a nearby lake.

But how was Russia to get along without you? Had you thought about what the loss would mean to this great country that has flourished under your presidency and your premiership? Who would have expected that a former high-ranking KGB official would be able to give people a sense of pride, introduce ethics, transparency, and great individual freedom? Through empathy and negotiation and despite horrific terrorist acts (we all remember the Beslan school and the Moscow theatre) you masterfully made breakaway regions see reason. Censorship became a thing of the past as you benevolently allowed criticism, whether from rogue journalists such as benighted Anna Politkovskaya who for years had been writing lies about abuses and Chechnya and whatnot, oil-rich oligarchs such as Khodorkovsky, or self-exiled enemies of the state such as Litvinenko. Generous to a fault, you didn’t mind them as personal critics but your love for your country led you to see the consequences for Russia of this kind of unfettered opposition. You condemned the murder of the journalist; in fact, you ordered a diligent prosecution and have nothing to do with the fact that the assassins were not convicted. Regarding Khodorkovsky, he had grown too big for his britches and is in jail where he deserves to be, his assets returned to their rightful owners, the Russian people. As for Litvinenko, they say that he was poisoned in London but your sources, which you have no reason to doubt, reported that he died of eating seafood gone bad. As for the other stories, people will always have grievances of one kind or another.

Anyway, thank heaven, Placeholder Medvedev has prevailed and made you accept the presidency once more. Let’s face it, you who are good at everything, a great athlete with a gentle soul—who can ignore your love of music and your rendering of such classics as “Blueberry Hill”?—are particularly good at helmsmanship.

Welcome back, Mr. President.

  1. Hamid
    September 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Beautiful piece, Saideh. I too would have been heart broken had Putin decided to retire from public life. Truly, how can the Nobel committee not name him for Peace prize recipient?


  2. MB
    September 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Indeed, your thoughts precisely match my sentiments. Oh – but you didn’t mention the adolescent girls who are so enthralled by Vladimir (we really should call him Vlad for short). Now these young girls will have him for 12 more years. How happy they must be!


    • September 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Vlad is what I call him on Twitter.


  3. September 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I agree, and think this song echoes how we all feel about him.


    • September 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      I love it!


      • Hamid
        October 1, 2011 at 1:11 am

        Fantastic! Fills my heart full of hope…


  4. steve rainey
    February 24, 2014 at 2:10 am

    You have become quite the statesman. A very good politician. I admire you Mr. Putin. I wish you well.. The world needs strong leaders.


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