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Hospodárske noviny - Slovakia | Friday, December 5, 2014

The incredible patriotism of the Russians

After Russian President Vladimir Putin's appearance in the Kremlin on Thursday it's once again difficult to understand how Russia ticks, the liberal business paper Hospodářské novin comments: "So far Putin hasn't fulfilled any of the programme objectives with which he returned to the presidency in 2012. In any normal country that's something the leader would have to answer for. In Russia nothing of the sort is happening and Putin's popularity remains firmly at 85 percent. Why? Because Putin annexed Crimea. ... Yesterday he announced to the people that Crimea is to the Russians something like what Temple Mount is to Jews and Muslims. It's striking that for centuries no one's ever talked about that in Russia, that they treated it like a strict state secret. Now Putin has revealed it to his countrymen in this critical moment of modern history, to further enhance the Russians' already unparalleled patriotism."

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