The man is what he says. And mister Putin is quite a man. To see how much of the man is Russia’s former, current and, possibly, upcoming President is, I have collected the masterpieces of Putinspeak. And some Putin-related speak to boot.
Putin vs Larry King
When Larry thought he’d use his guerilla questioning techniques on Russia’s then-president, he should have thought twice. In Russia we say, there is no argument against a crowbar. And Mr.Putin definitely has one:
Putin on Circumcision
It must have been hard for the interpreters to have that speech translated.
Putin vs Minister of Education
In 2007, Putin was attending a council focused on national priority projects. Russia’s then-minister of education Fursenko, widely disrespected among the educated population, got into a lot of trouble on that particular council. See how (captions inside):
Putin vs Deripaska and Unemployment
Following a shutdown of major factories in Pikalyovo (which were the town’s biggest employers) in summer 2009, then-PM Vladimir Putin stepped in personally to solve the employment crisis. In a single willful act he forced the factory owners, including a prominent oligarch Oleg Deripaska, to sign a highly unprofitable contract that forced the factories to resume the operations and pay off the salary debts. Here is how it happened (captions not included, but the script is right below):
— Have you signed the contract?
— How about Oleg Deripaska?
— I can’t see your signature here. Come, come. Come here, sign it for me. [Deripaska signs] And give me the pen, will you? Right. So, I’ve heard what you said and I hope that the contract that we have signed here will be fulfilled as it should, and speaking of the perspectives—we shall discuss that later, if there will be anything to discuss.
And finally, to show that Putin’s efforts in image building have been worth every bit, a fragment of a live Q&A show that the Prime Minister (in February, 2008—still president) holds every year to speak directly to the citizens of Russia. A conversation full of awe and gratitude.
Anchor: Good day, please introduce yourself.
Elderly Woman’s Voice: I am not going to talk to you! I will only speak to the President!
Anchor: Vladimir Vladimirovich is listening to you, please ask your question.
Putin: I am listening to you. Good afternoon.
Voice: Is that you?
Putin: That’s me. Good afternoon.
Voice: Is that really you?
Putin: That’s really me.
Voice: And before that—that was also you?
Putin: And before, yes, that was me as well.
Voice: Oh, Dear Lord, thank you ever so much! For everything—thank you! [hangs up]
Anchor: Apparently, no question. Well, that’s a live show.
Putin: Thank you for what you’ve said. This is actually the evaluation of my work, and the work of the whole team. I assure you that we feel there is a lot to be done. And I promise we shall stand up to those challenges that still lie ahead of us.