Kremlin propaganda publications reported on the publication by the British portal Unherd article by former American administration adviser Harald Malmgren about Vladimir Putin. In the presentation of “MK”, which titled its publication “Former Kennedy Advisor: Putin is smarter than most politicians”, it looks like this:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin is smarter than most politicians in the world. Harald Malmgren, former senior assistant to US Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, stated this to the British portal. Unherd.
As Malmgren, who once personally met with Putin, noted, the head of the Russian state seemed to him a smarter person than most political figures in the world whom he had met during his long years in the US administration. According to Malmgren, Putin came to power just at a time when Russia most needed a strong leader.
Malmgren stressed that the Russian president has “something that is not visible at first glance.” According to the Kennedy adviser, the West misunderstands Putin.
Malmgren also noted that Russia will never fight with Ukraine. As for the position of US President Joe Biden on the Ukrainian issue, he is facing midterm elections in Congress, so he can’t afford to be distracted by serious foreign policy issues. Therefore, the former adviser emphasized, Russia and the United States simply have no other way but to agree among themselves.
Approximately the same is told by other Russian publications, in particular, Lenta.ru in an article titled “Former Kennedy Adviser Calls Putin World’s Smartest Politician,” and “Sight” in a note entitled “Former Kennedy and Nixon adviser finds Putin smarter than most US and world politicians.”
But what is actually written in Unherd. Recalling his brief encounter with Putin in St. Petersburg in 1992, Malmgren tells:
“I was left with the impression of Putin as being smarter than most of the politicians I met in Washington and other capitals of the world. I was reminded of my childhood: I grew up in a predominantly Sicilian area, where the mafia maintained order. Unorganized crime was not allowed. Putin seemed to have the instincts of a Sicilian mafia boss: quick to reward, but quick to put him in mortal danger if he didn’t comply with family rules. <…>
We talked several times between meetings and agreed that at dinner he would sit next to me, accompanied by his translator. At this dinner, he asked: “What is the main obstacle between your Western businessmen and my Russian colleagues in establishing business ties?”
Without thinking twice, I replied: “The absence of legally defined property rights – without them there is no basis for resolving disputes.”
“Oh yes,” he said, “in your system, disputes between businesses are resolved by lawyers who are paid by the hour, representing each side, sometimes taking the dispute to court, which usually takes months and accumulates hourly attorney fees.”
“In Russia,” he continued, “disputes are usually settled with the help of common sense. If the dispute concerns very significant money or property, then both parties, as a rule, send their representatives to dinner. All those present are armed. In the face of the possibility of a bloody, deadly outcome, both sides always find a mutually acceptable solution. Fear serves as a catalyst for common sense.”
Publication in Unherd titled “What the West Doesn’t Understand About Putin.” And Malmgren gives an unequivocal answer to this question: politicians do not understand that the Russian leader has the mentality of a mafia boss. The Russian propaganda media, as if on command, replicate only one fragment from this article – the one where the former adviser to the American administration pays tribute to Putin’s mind.
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