Young Putin by Philippe P. C. Jordan
There is a man,
smallish not particularly handsome,
(apparently, at school the girls did not flock to him)
a very average student,
someone who would score three on a scale of six.
(I know, I have talked to some of his samoklassniki.)
This may be why
he rides horses bare-chested,
dives deep into the sea and finds great treasure,
parachutes out of planes, landing upright,
and all that other stuff.
I am envious.
He has since become a tsar in all but name
of one of the world’s most important countries,
one of its largest, most creative and most filthy energy rich.
This has provided him with a platform
for calling into question the ground rules
that have prevailed in Europe since World War II.
These ground rules are anything but perfect - and they beg crucial questions.
Are ethnicity and language more important than borders?
Or should borders be the prime determinant?
There is no text-book answer.
Sometimes strategic divorce is the only way (I think Kosovo).
More often than not, compromise, however difficult its way may be,
speaks to greater wisdom (I think Ukraine).
The world’s states are incredibly diverse: we count some 6000 communities but only 200 states
If we seek to rearrange our states in an impossible quest for purity - ethnic, religious, linguistic …
we will harvest a wave of violence that will be more brutal
than anything humanity has ever known.
Step back, Vovka, be a man of compromise and peace:
the ladies will love you for it.
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