Beauty and the Bear
In the West, there is growing pessimism about anyone’s ability to stop Vladimir Putin from turning Russia into the world’s most stage-managed democracy. John McCain’s call for the United States to boycott next month’s G8 in St. Petersburg has gone nowhere fast. But, as Tom Friedman has argued in FP, soaring oil prices are making Putin more ...
In the West, there is growing pessimism about anyone's ability to stop Vladimir Putin from turning Russia into the world's most stage-managed democracy. John McCain's call for the United States to boycott next month's G8 in St. Petersburg has gone nowhere fast. But, as Tom Friedman has argued in FP, soaring oil prices are making Putin more troublesome domestically and internationally. So, could a party girl be about to do what no political party can - seriously challenge Putin’s ever-growing power?
The glamorous 24-year-old reality TV hostess Ksenia Sobchak has launched a youth movement with the provocative name “All are Free.” Its aim: Teach Russian youth “how to be free.” The group is in direct competition with the Kremlin-endorsed clubs set up to stymie the emergence of an Orange revolution-style movement. She told the St. Petersburg Times, “We have a lot of political youth movements, but I think they are kind of fake.”
Sobchak is not a total political virgin. Her father was the mayor of St. Petersburg and, ironically, Putin’s mentor. Indeed, the two of them were so close that the only time Putin has publicly wept was at his funeral.
Enrollment for the movement starts Friday. Sobchak complained to the Daily Telegraph, “All that is happening today makes me awfully sad.” Now boys: You don’t want that, do you?
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