14 Nov 2016

Putin came to power as a result of misunderstanding

American journalist Steven Lee Myers wrote a book "The New Tzar" and published it in Finland. A Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat asked the author about the book and its story. Article was translated into Russian and commented on Inosmi.

Original article in Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat at http://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri/a1478580585915 Russian translation and comments at http://inosmi.ru/politic/20161113/238178457.html



Putin came to power as a result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings, says American journalist who wrote his biography



13.11.2016

Jussi Niemeläinen

One of the most important events in modern history occurred in September 2011. Then, the current president of Russia Vladimir Putin said that he was returning to the presidency after he was out of office for one term.

So says Steven Lee Myers, an American journalist and author of Putin's biography ("The New Tsar"), which has recently been translated into Finnish. He calls Putin's return to power a turning point in the history of the Kremlin.

"Russia, of course, would not be a democracy, and elections would not be fair, even if he had not returned. Nevertheless, the situation would be completely different, even though he would have remained a strong background figure" - says Myers to Helsingin Sanomat by telephone from Washington.

"Russia had an opportunity to develop in a different direction. This opportunity was gone when he returned." - says Myers.

Putin became president in 2000. Permitted by the Constitution, his two consecutive terms expired in 2008. Putin decided not to change the Constitution and resigned as president, and Dmitry Medvedev became a new president.

Yet, Putin has not disappeared and became the Prime Minister. In fact, he was considered as a Prime minister governing the country, although officially presidential power existed in Russia.

"Medvedev's presidency gave hope to many Russians" - says Myers. Therefore, the return of Putin irritated the middle class in large cities, leading in turn to mass demonstrations in December 2011, after the elections to the State Duma [Parliament].

In the spring of 2012, Putin returned to the Kremlin as president. After that, Russia took the path of authoritarianism at an accelerated pace.

Myers was the Moscow correspondent of the American New York Times newspaper for two terms, which in total amounted to seven years. When he came back from the first trip to Moscow in 2007, a literary agent Larry Weissman began to persuade him to write a book about Putin.

"Then Putin said that he would leave the presidency. I told Larry that Putin was an attractive object for the book, but we do not know where it will end", - says Myers.

Then came the autumn of 2011, and Putin announced that he would return.

"I told Larry: Try to guess how it would end."

Putin did not agree to give an interview, but many of his aides spoke with Myers. One of them was the cellist Sergei Roldugin, considered the best friend of Putin, who became known through leaked information about his vast fortune.

"He told me that he was not a millionaire. At that time it was not known that he was a billionaire."

The book is a biography style. Myers writes about Putin's childhood and youth, his service as a KGB agent in East Germany, the assistant to a democratically elected mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak, move to Moscow, and in the end, taking the post of Prime Minister and President.

According to Myers, Putin's childhood and upbringing have made a serious imprint on him. Putin grew up in very poor and economically difficult conditions in what was then Leningrad.

"The 1960s were the years of the Soviet romanticism. Traces of the war began to fade; the Gulag and the Great Terror were in the past, people tended to look at the war [WWII] with nostalgia", says Myers.

Putin since his very childhood wanted to be with the KGB and he succeeded.

Myers thought a lot about Putin's rise to the leadership of Russia. It was so surprising that many considered it a part of a larger plan or KGB project.

"Vladimir Putin's rise to power was largely the result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings."

If Sobchak won the election in 1996, Putin would have stayed in St. Petersburg. But this did not happen, and Putin moved to Moscow.

"This was followed by three truly exceptional years, when he seemed to be floating above the surface, while others drowned."

Putin was diligent and accurate, but never, at least in public, has he shown any ambition.

The entourage of the tired President Boris Yeltsin was looking for a successor and attempted several prime ministers. In 1999 it was the turn of Putin. Then, the independent Duma[Parliament] approved him, and many thought that Putin would still be a prime minister for another three-month period.

But the Prime Minister came to the presidency when Yeltsin resigned. Russia was very weak.

"Yeltsin was looking for someone to save Russia, but not democracy."

Now Putin considers himself indispensable, the last bastion between order and anarchy.

At that time, he was full of doubts. Demonstrations of the masses, this is something he really was always afraid of.

"In addition to his return, it should be remembered what was happening then. Demonstrations in Moscow, the Arab Spring. He and his team thought they were organized by the West, which added even more doubts.

"By now Putin has surrounded himself with conservative aides, who are focused on security issues. Previously, he was in need of a wider circle of allies to ensure the construction of their power.

"The system has always been non-transparent, but under President Medvedev there were competing parties. Now there is only one vertical. Information is distributed through a very narrow channel."

A good example of this is the capture of the Crimea in spring of 2014.

"The decision was made by a small group of people. For example, Minister of Foreign Affairs was not invited. That was a significant foreign policy decision, taken without accounting for forecasts of experts as to its consequences."

At present, it is speculated whether Putin surrounded himself with obsequious people, after Sergey Ivanov, for example, lost his post.

"I would not belittle the abilities of Sergey Ivanov to please", laughs Myers.

He believes it is quite obvious that Ivanov was demoted. However, he continues to give serious interviews that could not be given by a person who was removed from power, says Myers.

Now all suggest that Putin will remain as president for two terms. Since the duration of the period was increased to six years, it means that he will be president until 2024.

After working as a journalist in the White House and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as a correspondent in Baghdad, Myers returned in 2013 for two years to Moscow.

At that time Washington did not speak much about Moscow.

President Barack Obama began to build relationships, but with the advent of Putin, they have practically ceased.

"Obama began to ignore Russia. The last straw was the granting of asylum to Edward Snowden."

When a US President begins to leave someone out in the cold, the topic usually disappears from the agenda in Washington. Administration and assistants are no longer talking about it, and soon the media also stop to discuss it.

"After that, Russia began bombing in Syria, which for many was a surprise here. However, all those who followed the pace of events, have been long understanding what would come next. "

Comments



00:15 13.11.2016 | 60

!van


Putin is my president. I elected him. And you can all chill out.

14:53 13.11.2016 | 2

Conservative reactionary


! Van, "Russia had an opportunity to develop in a different direction. This opportunity was gone when he returned." - says Myers.

----

These words contain so much anguish, anger, and even some despair. Anglo-Saxons are in pain!

00:15 13.11.2016 | 38

alex49


Demonstrations of the masses, this is something he really was always afraid of.

------------------------------

Yes, not the demonstrations are frightening, but that at some point you have to give the order to shoot, to calm the crowd who went unleashed. I'm sure it's a very difficult and unpleasant decision for a normal person. And Putin is no exception.

And, after all, in fact: if Yanukovych could give such an order and the price could be dozens of lives, then tens of thousands of people would be saved now from death!!!

00:35 13.11.2016 | 12

!van


alex49, always remember Tiananmen [square in China]. [They] wounded a few hundred idiots on the [tank's] tracks = saved the country.

13.11.2016 00:43

alex49


! Van, That's right. The only problem is to give the order to tanks. Because you perfectly understand that now your word will result in a bloody mess, boys, girls, maybe just stupid, will all be crushed... And the reasoning that you are saving this country from even more deaths is kindda abstract: who knows, it [the situation] might just resolve itself somehow, etc.

In this sense, I suppose, Putin is afraid of situations where it would be required to give such orders. But I think he will give them, as he is a leader, not a doormat.

1:01 13.11.2016

!van


alex49, I agree with you. But there is no other way.

13.11.2016 12:59

fio


! Van, Do not forget about the "Bloody Sunday".

13.11.2016 18:19

mig


! Van, wrote below... what if one would use an aircraft to pour the sewage onto the protestors? All patriotism of the svidomy [most active Anti-Russian Ukranians] would have vanished with the odor. Alas, Yanukovych would then be accused of a chemical attack.

13.11.2016 18:16

mig


alex49, Yanukovych did not have to shoot at the participants of Maidan. There are airplanes that extinguish fires... they can be filled with sewage drain and then [you can] pour it on the protesters. The shitty Maidan would immediately stop.

13.11.2016 21:52

N 99


mig, yeah, you cannot scare the Maidan people with shit.

00:23 14/11/2016

Kola Lapp


>Demonstrations of the masses, this is something he really was always afraid of.

[he] was so scared of Bolotnaya so that he called for the Poklonnaya.

00:29 13.11.2016 | 25

zwaan


It's a pity that Russia cannot claim copyright on "Putin" brand...

07:02 13.11.2016 | 2

lara


Zwaan, all the losses from petrodollars would be compensated then...

09:27 13.11.2016 | 2

profotki


Zwaan, Yeah... In my opinion, it would be possible to stop working at all, the country would be bathed in abundance using only a fraction [of revenues] from the brand. Well, sometimes we might send signals to wake up the West)))

14:56 13.11.2016 | 1

cooper124


Zwaan, afraid of a Chinese fake?

...

00:48 13.11.2016 | 13

SirPersival


>Putin came to power as the result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings.

-------------

People who say this just do not understand what they are dealing with. So ignorant, I always advise to read the essays of Klutchevsky and Gumilyov. In a country like Russia, in spite of all the vicissitudes in its history, there is nothing accidental that would predetermine its fate.

00:50 13.11.2016 | 15

as99


>Putin came to power as the result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings, says an American journalist who wrote his biography

The author can work further on its universal recipe, for example,

-- Trump came to power as a result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings, says an American journalist who wrote his biography...

--Obama came to power as the result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings, says an American journalist who wrote his biography...

--Marie Le Pain came to power as the result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings, says an American journalist who has written her biography...

01:09 13.11.2016 | eleven

NataDV


>"In addition to his return, it should be remembered what was happening then. Demonstrations in Moscow, the Arab Spring. He and his team thought they were organized by the West, which added even more doubts."

______________________________

Of course, a Western journalist will never admit that the whole world knows that Putin and his aides think correctly...

"Obama began to ignore Russia. The last straw was the granting of asylum to Edward Snowden."

When a US President begins to leave someone out in the cold, the topic usually disappears from the agenda in Washington. Administration and assistants are no longer talking about it, and soon the media also stop to discuss it.

"After that, Russia began bombing in Syria, which for many was a surprise here. However, all those who followed the pace of events, have been long understanding what would come next. "

______________________________

What a storyteller! Corrupt Western journalists-whores have spent too much effort in recent years trying to demonize Putin. And this is what they call "the media stopped to discuss?"

01:13 13.11.2016 | 3

Ed1985


Cool style of the article. Reminiscent of the works from the classics: one phrase from the source, abstracts in the margins (do not forget to think about them later!). And, it never comes to actual thinking. As a result, it is not an article, but rather a delirium or half-dreaming or semi-finished product.

01:13 13.11.2016 | 10

Inferno


"Medvedev's presidency has given hope to many Russians" - says Myers. Therefore, the return of Putin irritated the middle class of large cities has led in turn to large demonstrations in December 2011, after the elections to the State Duma.

-----------

OMG! What a mess in their heads!

13.11.2016 14:58

cooper124


Inferno, this is not a mess, this is a deliberate lie.

13.11.2016 18:21

niloff6


Inferno, it is not a mess, but in the fact that after the collapse of the USSR, they have monopolized the information space

01:14 13.11.2016 | -18

Da = da


Why should we read articles about a hybrid of Napoleon and Fuhrer? We know very well how they both ended up...

02:22 13.11.2016 | 3

zwaan


Da = da, are you a crowned monarch?

Or are you suffering from helminthiasis?

2:42 13.11.2016

Moshe


Zwaan, "American journalist, who wrote his biography, " is just a representative of the same interesting minority, which is represented here by Da=Da, breaking the law №195 [of Russian Code].

3:33 13.11.2016

Aydatik


Zwaan, I have serious doubts that there are many of them there...

3:07 13.11.2016

kaa


Da = da,

So you have no illusions about your fate and fate of your accomplices

5:51 13.11.2016

ipatiykolorad


Da = da, you, colander-saures [reference to anti-Russian Ukrainians] should think about your Valtzman [reference to 'maiden name' of Poroshenko, President of Ukraine]..

7:43 13.11.2016

3lirium


Da = da, but you have forgotten how Bandera ended up:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfm7e01uUgw [execution of Nazi collaborators]

08:08 13.11.2016 | 1

Observer


Da = da, Europe has now other problems than thinking about the Ukrainians?

9:08 13.11.2016

Retro Grad


Why should we read articles about a hybrid of Napoleon and Fuhrer? We know very well how they both ended up...

----------------------

Are you afraid that you will be jailed together with Poroshenko?

13.11.2016 13:12

ustas-alex


Da = da,

Well, your Führers such as Barack and Hillary are gone! It seems the world is saved. Take poison like your Fuehrer.

13.11.2016 14:45

klim.choogoon


Da = da, carefully read through this article again, here we talk about Putin, not your drunken clown Poroshenko.

18:06 13.11.2016 | 2

Alexander Rybakin


Indeed Da=da, why do they shuffling articles like this to us? They make us think?

As for you, it is enough to put casseroles on your heads and a beautiful legend about visa free regime. Which once again was postponed by six months;)

01:36 13.11.2016 | 9

Graz


The understanding that democracy is a profanation was clear to the people back during the presidential elections in 1996, when Yeltsin defeated Zyuganov using fraud

It was all clear to everyone.

Another question is whether Russia really needs Western-type democracy, as for me, it does not.

Without a strong central authority, Russia will be torn apart into small fiefdoms by local barons and corporate oligarchy

02:11 13.11.2016 | 1

Borisik


Graz, it's not very much about the central government itself. Remember Gorbachev (God Forbid to mention his name after sunset) with his [power] much superior than now... and what was the result? The collapse of a great empire, curses from his own people and in remainder - advertising pizza [see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3U9deyswcY Gorbachev in pizza advertisement]... The point is who is there in power. Absolutely the same system, with one president, a total fail nicknamed 'Ayfonchik' [reference to president Medvedev who likes IPhones] and the other [Putin], respected by people and causing sleepless nights and heartburn among liberastnya [liberals] and foreign "friends" wishing the collapse of Russia.

01:42 13.11.2016 | 7

Gigolo


No to Democracy! It does not exist as such in principle.

13.11.2016 12:26

rey-13


Well, why not. Democracy is the power of the American people (some part of it), you should look at the definition, similar to a joke about Stalin.

01:51 13.11.2016 | 5

voronov77


The book is trash, the journalist has never seen Putin's with his own eyes, only read about Russia from Gosdep manuals [instructions of the US Department of State]: "Demonstrations of the masses, this is what he was really afraid of." - the Russian people is slow to get angry, during all the post-Soviet time there were no large demonstrations and rallies, opposition rallies organized by the Communist Party only collected several thousands in major cities, the standard of living in the country was growing, there was no reasons for discontent, and democracy has long been a dirty word, [as people] were fed up with this stuff under Yeltsin.

05:06 13.11.2016 | 2

Nasreddin Hodja


voronov77, and what you want to have, another "War and Peace"? [It was ] hastily cooked while there is a certain interest and some money can be made.

02:28 13.11.2016 | 5

Blade Runner


Putin has not agreed to give an interview

================================================== ===================

until Putin himself agrees to write his biography, everything else is a cooked up DIY with a view to squeeze more bucks from the brand's name.

...

04:10 13.11.2016 | 6

zlushy


The Myers's advent to journalism was largely the result of a series of events, situations and even a misunderstanding: he accidentally survived after so many times he was dropped on his head, then he was not shot in the head by distraught neighbors and classmates, and he did not suddenly started an act of retribution for all those collective acts of humiliation to which he was constantly exposed.

05:16 13.11.2016 | 9

0ncnjqybr


"Yeltsin was looking for someone to save Russia, but not democracy."

Somebody tell me how to preserve democracy without saving Russia? Not to mention the price of Yeltsin democracy.

...

07:37 13.11.2016 | 8

landau


independent Finland is a result of misunderstanding!

07:40 13.11.2016 | 2

3lirium


> He believes it is quite obvious that Ivanov was demoted. However, he continues to give serious interviews that could not be given by a person who was removed from power, says Myers.

Well quite an amazing level of analytical intelligence...

08:27 13.11.2016 | 1

Yaga


"Russia had an opportunity to develop in a different direction..." (c)

- ..this did not happen in 1996, when EBN [President Yeltsin] falsified elections to his favor.

08:34 13.11.2016 | 1

intuzazist


"He told me that he was not a millionaire. Then it was not known that he was a billionaire. "

------------

Everybody is wining about that, but nobody asks the question: where Putin can spend his billions?! Oh, not in America?

9:06 13.11.2016

Retro Grad


"Russia has the opportunity to develop in a different direction. This opportunity was gone when he returned", says Myers.

-------------

Sounds great, does not it?!

09:20 13.11.2016 | 5

Martian


>"Russia had an opportunity to develop in a different direction, this opportunity was gone when he returned. "- Says Myers."

My God! Save Russia from this destiny which was prepared and cooked together by the Americans, and "our" liberastnya [liberals] !!!

09:35 13.11.2016 | 5

Ya


After the words - "people tended to look at the war [WWII] with nostalgia...." I stopped reading. I remember my grandmother's tears, her grandfather was taken immediately to the war at the end of June [1941] and he was never heard of later. And she died of a heart attack when my whole family (in the 70s all families were watching television like this) was watching a film about the war with documentary inserts; no nostalgia as the author says.

09:51 13.11.2016 | 1

chrusha_pirat


Pendostan is just one big misunderstanding!

10:46 13.11.2016 | 3

Turist812


Another hack, scribbler, writing disinformation. Their name is Legion.

...

12:22 13.11.2016 | 2

aTrop


>"Yeltsin was looking for someone to save Russia, but not democracy".

Typical view by a liberast [liberal]: the main thing is the dermokratia [Russian slang for democracy, sounds like shitocracy], and they don't care about a country with a thousand-year history which may cease to exist! And don't care about people living in it! Freak is a freak! I do not have much sympathy for EBN [Yeltsin], but as for Putin, I am ready to forgive many things to him! This is the leader that Russia needed! Otherwise it would not have existed as a sovereign state, the liberasts [liberals] would have sold it to the West all together with giblets!

...

13.11.2016 12:26

Star_k


"Medvedev's presidency has given hope to many Russians" - says Myers.

================================================== =============================

Well, nonsense, many Russians cannot forgive Medvedev for his UN vote on Libya. Nobody was taking Medvedev as a strong leader after that, even though now the Western partners cannot deceive him any longer.

13.11.2016 12:49

nicolua


No matter how we like or dislike Putin, but the fact that he is in power is the God's Providence. And the fact that Trump won, demonstrates that the Creator is not done yet with His experiments...

13.11.2016 13:09

ustas-alex


What article, gentlemen? A collection of banalities and ugly conclusions!

13.11.2016 14:14

trick


Article about nothing. I have read it and tried to find at least a grain of truth. Empty. Some sort of a hodgepodge of rumors and secondary interviews. In short, badly cooked soup from a cheap eatery.

13.11.2016 14:20

leo2023


If this is the level of professional bibliographer, I understand, that the West has absolutely no idea about the Russian reality!

13.11.2016 15:19

russlan


"Putin came to power as a result of a series of events, situations and even misunderstandings"

____________________________________________________________________

Jussi, Finland's independence is a consequence of a series of misunderstandings. If you continue to write about Russia in the same way, Finland may lose its independence. Study your own fools and make crazy conclusions. Do not irk the bear. Lay low and do not twit [try to be inconspicuous].

13.11.2016 15:39

Mehhanik


See what this person cooked: if this, then Putin would not come, and if that, then Russia would have chosen another way.

Do not pop your nose in our affairs; deal with your immigrants....

13.11.2016 18:01

fisherman


Yeltsin was made to "go". But Berezovsky and other members of the "family" underestimated Putin.

13.11.2016 18:07

GreyCat


"Russia had an opportunity to develop in a different direction. This opportunity was gone when he returned", - says Myers.

---------

Apparently, Myers believes that for someone it was important that Russia should have evolved in a different direction. Clearly not for Russia. Then the author must say who was that 'someone', rather than use loud phrases.

13.11.2016 18:18

niloff6


Of course, Putin is to blame that Russia was not spilled on the floor like muck.

Of course, Putin is to blame that Russia disobeyed orders from the "most democratic...". And so on, so forth: guilty, guilty, guilty...

...

13.11.2016 19:58

Goodwin


This Jussi Niemeläinen is a complete moron. No ideas of his own, he can only collect and compile the stupidity of others.

13.11.2016 21:51

N 99


"Russia had an opportunity to develop in a different direction, but this opportunity was gone when he returned." - Says Myers.

Well lucky Russia, so what? In general, a typical Western mental, Myers, liked Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] as a president. And Putin was really lucky, like Myers. Because should the latter be born in a Mexican family, he would have to sell drugs like the rest his family, and would not write such garbage.

...

1:00 14/11/2016

morgena


Jussi Niemeläinen, I do not know who are you? You are referring to whom? American journalist Steven Lee Myers, I ran through the Youtube, [could not find him]? Hell, the Finns are teaching us how we should live and who to elect. Shit, does anyone in the world know the name of the Finnish President? Yes, people like you want to "drag Finns into NATO." Read more about what it may cost to Finns.

3:22 11/14/2016

Opozdavshiy


Colleagues, do not get nervous. We dealt with the United States, after a little time we will deal with Finland too. We will turn it into a dump of migrants from Africa, and this is it. Why should Germans suffer lonely?

And after some time there will be no bigger Russian patriot than Jussi Niemeläinen.

5:47 11/14/2016

nik27


Calling the Divine Providence a misunderstanding: obviously the author was too hasty with conclusions. Apparently, his life was deprived of miracles.



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