Monday, December 23, 2013

Vladimir Putin, Conservative Icon
The Russian president is positioning himself as the world's leading defender of traditional values.

By Brian Whitmore
December 20 2013

Vladimir Putin is calling on the conservatives of the world to unite-behind him.

The Kremlin leader's full-throated defense of Russia's "traditional values" and his derision of the West's "genderless and infertile" liberalism in his annual state-of-the-nation address last week was just the latest example of Putin attempting to place himself at the vanguard of a new "Traditionalist Conservative International."

The speech came on the heels of the appointment of Dmitry Kiselyov-the television anchor who has harshly criticized gays and lesbians-as head of the new Kremlin-run media conglomerate Rossia Segodnya. And just days before Putin's address, the Center for Strategic Communications, an influential Kremlin-connected think tank, held a press conference in Moscow to announce its latest report. The title: "Putin: World Conservatism's New Leader."

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