So what of Mr Putin? There’s certainly a general consensus in the west that he’s a powerful tyrant, but how can we know? I don’t know the man personally and I don’t know how much of his reputation is engendered by western propaganda. (We in the west are, at least partially, conditioned by propaganda, just as the citizens of less democratic countries are.) Recent news items do, however, suggest that the view has some credibility.
So let’s suppose we’re right and Mr Putin is, indeed, a tyrant of the first (or maybe second) rank. I wonder how he feels about the reputation he appears to be gaining over the MH17 affair. Those on the Russian side of the line do seem to be pointing the finger of guilt at themselves with their allegedly obstructionist behaviour towards the international investigators, not to mention the stories of Separatists removing vital evidence from the crash site. It isn’t proof, I know, but it doesn’t look good.
Well, I don’t suppose he cares a jot. As a general rule, sociopaths are concerned about their reputation, but psychopaths aren’t. The problem is that Mr Putin represents Mother Russia in the eyes of the world, and so the whole Russian people are being tarred with the same brush. And that isn’t fair, surely.