The Russian people were polled, recently, on the question of which of their political figures is most popular. An alien notion in Russian politics, perhaps, but just the same, the question was asked and the people, knowing what is good for them, answered. In a surprise result:

Forty-four percent of respondents said Putin was the politician of the year, according to the poll, conducted by the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM).

The surprise, of course, is in the low approval rating which can be taken, by the rest of the world, as a good sign. Stalin would have gotten ninety-nine percent.

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