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Viktor Yanukovych

Malaysia jet downing reveals Putin losing his grip [Commentary]

Malaysia jet downing reveals Putin losing his grip [Commentary]

Vladimir Putin may be many things -- a cold-blooded thug, a power-hungry autocrat, a paranoid xenophobe, a self-impressed narcissist -- but he is not a great leader. Hardliners in both Russia and the United States are convinced tough guys rule best, but Putin is proving what a fallacy that is.

In his first years as president of Russia, Mr. Putin seemed to be different -- a smart operator who was ready to modernize his creaky, leaking barge of a country. President George W. Bush looked into his eyes and thought he saw a soul. Mr.  Bush was wrong. Putin's icy eyes proved to be more like windows into the hollow heart of a Mafia don.

Instead of...

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