World View Podcast: Putin admired at home, ‘demonised’ abroad

Russian president ‘extremely popular in his home country’ despite drop in living standards

Russian president Vladimir Putin. “He’s what you call a leader,” according to former mayor of New York Rudy Guiliani. Photograph: Alexey Nikolsky/EPA

Russian president Vladimir Putin. “He’s what you call a leader,” according to former mayor of New York Rudy Guiliani. Photograph: Alexey Nikolsky/EPA

 

In the last five years there has been a remarkable rise in membership of the Vladimir Putin fan club. Donald Trump’s admiration is on the record, as is that of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland, and Marine Le Pen in France.

“He’s what you call a leader,” according to former mayor of New York Rudy Guiliani. But how is he seen at home?

His citizens have endured some difficult times. The fall in oil prices, a collapse in the value of the ruble and economic sanctions imposed after his annexation of Crimea have led to a drop in living standards.

But Putin is still “extremely popular in his home country,” according to journalist Isabel Gorst who writes for The Irish Times from Moscow, “in a diametrically opposite relationship that we have in the West, where he’s broadly demonised”.

On this week’s World View podcast, Isabel explains how Putin has succeeded in maintaining broad support at home while extending his economic and military influence abroad.

Also on the podcast, Derek Scally reports from Munich where citizens are reeling after a series of terror attacks. And Stephen Starr is on the line from Istanbul where, following the failed coup, purges at all levels of society threaten the effective functioning of the state.

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