Vladimir Putin: In His Own Words

Vladimir Putin
kremlin.ru

Russian president Vladimir Putin has become one of the most loved and hated political figures of the last decade or so. There has been a lot of speculation from Western media as to who he really is and what his political aspirations are, while he is still widely revered by the Russian people for his strong leadership and for stabilising the country’s economy and democratising its political structure. But let us take a look at some of his own public statements, or as the title suggests: Vladimir Putin in his own words…

On business:

“We need business to understand its social responsibility, that the main task and objective for a business is not to generate extra income and to become rich and transfer the money abroad, but to look and evaluate what a businessman has done for the country, for the people, on whose account he or she has become so rich.”

On politics:

“We don’t need a weakened government but a strong government that would take responsibility for the rights of the individual and care for the society as a whole.”

“The point of conservatism is not that it prevents movement forward and upward, but that it prevents movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.”

“How can a bureaucrat or a politician be trusted if he says loud words for the sake of Russia’s good while trying to take his funds, his money abroad?”

“I believe that the presidential term should be limited.”

“The worst thing for a politician is to try and cling to power by every possible means, and focus only on that.”

“What is a uni-polar world? No matter how we beautify this term, it means one single centre of power, one single centre of force and one single master.”

“Those who fight corruption should be clean themselves.”

“It is wrong to make anyone into an enemy; it is wrong to scare the people of one’s own country with that enemy and try to rally some allies on that basis.”

On his personal life:

I love the Russian classics very much, the Russian classical literature. But I also read modern literature. As far as Russian literature is concerned, I am very fond of Tolstoy and Chekhov, and I also enjoy reading Gogol very much.”

“I have always loved and avidly read the novels of Jack London, Jules Verne and Ernest Hemingway. The characters depicted in their books, who are brave and resourceful people embarking on exciting adventures, definitely shaped my inner self and nourished my love for the outdoors.”

“I spend a little time every day to play sports.”

“I was brought up in a very ordinary family, in fact, a worker’s family. Both my father and mother were ordinary citizens.”

“I swim almost every day, a thousand meters.”

“I love soccer.”

“I go to the gym, I swim daily and from time to time I meet with friends and do extra-curricular stuff.”

“I read papers, try to watch news programs on television, but, as a rule, recorded. During the day I have no time for that, so I watch something taped. As for the newspapers, I try to get through them every day. Additionally, of course, I look through news bulletins.”

On journalism:

“Journalism, as concerns collecting information, differs little if at all from intelligence work. In my judgment, a journalist’s job is very interesting.”

On homosexuality:

“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in Russia, unlike in one third of the world’s countries, being gay is not a crime.”

“If you want my personal attitude, I would tell you that I don’t care about a person’s sexual orientation.”

On Russia:

“Russian democracy is the power of the Russian people with their own traditions of national self-government, and not the realisation of standards foisted on us from outside.”

“Russia does not and cannot have any political choice but democracy. I want to say, and even stress, that we share those universal democratic principles taken around the whole world.”

“Russians have different far lofty ambitions; more of a spiritual kind. It’s more about your relationship with God.”

“A superpower is a cold war term. When people today say that Russia aspires to have this status, I interpret it in the following way: they want to undermine trust in Russia, to portray Russia as frightening, and create some kind of image of an enemy. … Russia is in favor of a multipolar world, a democratic world order, strengthening the system of international law, and for developing a legal system in which any small country, even a very small country, can feel itself secure, as if behind a stone wall. … Russia is ready to become part of this multipolar world and guarantee that the international community observes these rules. And not as a superpower with special rights, but rather as an equal among equals.”

On the United States:

“It’s alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States.”

On terrorism:

“No references to the need to fight terror can be an argument for restricting human rights.”

On the Soviet Union:

“Stalinism is linked with a cult of personality and massive violations of the law, with repression and camps. There is nothing like that in Russia and, I hope, will never again be.”

“I see that not everyone in the West has understood that the Soviet Union has disappeared from the political map of the world and that a new country has emerged with new humanist and ideological principles at the foundation of its existence.”

“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”

“People in Russia say that those who do not regret the collapse of the Soviet Union have no heart, and those that do regret it have no brain. We do not regret this, we simply state the fact and know that we need to look ahead, not backwards. We will not allow the past to drag us down and stop us from moving ahead. We understand where we should move. But we must act based on a clear understanding of what happened..”

On his beliefs:

“I am the wealthiest man, not just in Europe, but in the whole world. I collect emotions. I am wealthy in that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with the leadership of a great nation such as Russia – I believe that is my greatest wealth.”

“I think happiness is love.”

“One can truly enjoy his or her life only while experiencing it, and it is inevitably related to a certain level of risk.”

“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.”

“Despite all the achievements of civilisation, the human being is still one of the most vulnerable creatures on earth.”

“I am not prejudiced in any way.”

“I think every person should have some faith inside him, in his heart. What matters is not an external display of this faith, but the inner state of the soul.”

“Above all, such sports as judo, in my view, teach people to relate to each other. They teach us to respect a partner, teach us to understand that an externally weak partner can not only put up worthy resistance, but, if you relax and take too much for granted, may even win.”

 

And who would have thought, the man can actually sing… or maybe not:

1 Comment

  1. The quotes prove a personality with multiple interests & the ability to visualize also some soft spots in Russian citizens’ mindset.Amazing!
    A great measure of ponderation shows through.
    Thank you for this interesting list of quotes.

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