Of all the world’s many leaders, I can honestly say that the one I’ve learnt the most from is Russia’s own Vladimir Putin.
Take a look at these Putin quotes – I think you’ll agree that his warmth, wit and wisdom shines through in every word he utters:
Putin on the importance of doing what you are told:
“You must obey the law, always, not only when they grab you by your special place.”
Putin on being a man:
“He raped 10 women. I never expected it from him. He surprised all of us. We envy him.”
Putin on how to stroke the tummies of little children:
“I tell you honestly, I just wanted to stroke him like a kitten and it came out in this gesture. There is nothing behind it.”
Putin on auditioning for the Wizard of Oz:
“Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain.”
Putin on governance:
“We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.”
Putin on international relations:
The Comrade Wolf knows who to eat, as the saying goes. It knows who to eat and is not about to listen to anyone, it seems.”
Putin on how to fight terrorism:
“We’ll follow terrorists everywhere. We will corner the bandits in the toilet and wipe them out.”
Putin on greasing the wheels of international diplomacy: ”
We discussed this very important issue yesterday over a beer.”
Putin on how to deal with awkward questions from French journalists:
“If you want to become an Islamic radical and have yourself circumcised, I invite you to come to Moscow. I would recommend that he who does the surgery does it so you’ll have nothing growing back, afterward.”
So, there you have it. Putin quotes to live your life by.
You’re a ******* pissah Andy.
In case there’s a misunderstanding, that’s said as a compliment.
A nice recollection.
for those who know a bit of Russian…
I dont agree with half the things he does, but there’s no doubt that as world leaders go, he’s totally cool. ”Kto mozhet buiyt -Ya Prezident”
Actually how he speaks is ideal to learn Russian from, and I’m going to look at all the other Putin pieces on youtube to help with my very dodgy Russki.
That ”kill them in the toilet” is a classic)
I am really impressed how clearly he talks! So does most of his crew…
have you ever heard Sergei Ivanov speaking in English? Now he is totally cool and witty. If he does become President, it’ll be hilarious watching him in action against western leaders. He’s got a really charming voice in English and is really tongue-in-cheek when speaking to journalists.
IMO: among that group, Lavrov and Churkin are the best when it comes to communicating in English.
Lavrov sounds awful to my ears. Ivanov is much cooler, he sounds like an Old Boy you’d have a few pints with in the pub. Maybe Lavrov is better for droning on, but in terms of entertainment, Ivanov wins hands-down.
In Hard Talk with BBC, Ivanov really stood his ground, just saw it on youtube:)
I can’t agree with you on that one Ger.
Perhaps Ivanov has improved since I last heard him at length vis-a-vis the Eng. lang. Perhaps the few instances I caught him weren’t at his best.
Well, Mike, he doesn’t have you as his media advisor, so I guess he is really just lucky not to make a complete fool of himself.
Arg, maybe I shouldn’t have said that. I am cranky. Working late and I don’t know if I can get into my apartment tonight… for some reason, the emergency lock service doesn’t work on Weekends. Go figure.
I just think he’s cool. Was he a spy for the KGB in Britain? I think I read that somewhere before. Obviously he gets the coolness from somewhere. I know Mike you’re thinking of politics, but I’m thinking of fun, and Ivanov is as suave as any westerner. I must look uo that piece on youtube. Its a Godsend for old songs, and now thanks to you I’ve found another use for it RM. Cheers. Hope you got into your kvartira!
By the way gentlemen, is Condi Rice fluent in Russian? Whats the story there? I’ve heard she is but then I’ve heard Russians say she is isnt great at it. Whats the truth?
And another thing. Has anyone found they speak more and better Russian when they’re drunk than sober? My Russian is deeply faulty but seems to fly out at these Russian flat parties than it does when I’m sober. I cant be the only one like this.
It might. Russia is tied pretty well to vodka. Learn the culture, improve the language 🙂
Has anyone found they speak more and better Russian when theyre drunk than sober?
Of course. This is a universal truth. I am completely fluent in Russian when I am hammered. Vodka is the only liquid translator known to man.
Her Russian is said to be on the so-so side.
Vodka and lemonade on the beach is awesome.
putin completely won me over when i read this quote of his (1/6/05, talking about christmas, etc.). compared to bush especially, but also other world leaders, putin is just a class above. he is cultured, he is patriotic, and he can think quickly and with wit. most importantly he can call “a spade a spade” (another putin quote from his meeting with papoulias last week).
so, 1/6/05 putin says:
“Thank you. You just mentioned that Christmas is a good family holiday. This year is the first time that we have had such long winter holidays.
In accordance with the resolution of the State Duma, the holidays will last for 10 days, and this is of course also a good occasion to spend time with family, and children, and to occupy ourselves with sport, physical culture and health.
In general, I think that the greatest wealth is free time, and every person must spend it usefully. And how we relax shows the culture of each person, and his internal purpose. I am sure that this time will be spent usefully. At any rate, everyone has this opportunity.”
basically, this quote changed my entire life and there is not another quote nor any passage from any book that this can not match with in my opinion.
db330: [i]In accordance with the resolution of the State Duma, the holidays will last for 10 days, and this is of course also a good occasion to spend time with family, and children, and to occupy ourselves with sport, physical culture and health.[/i]
I went to visit my relatives over those ten days of holidays and we had a fantastic time (photos here).
While at a dinner with lots of friends and family someone kept pressing me on questions basically wanting to know if I thought Russia would ever by like the United States. I stood up and made a toast to Russia that it may never be like the United States. This 10-day holiday was one of the examples that I used. We used those ten days exactly as President Putin intended – family, friends, children, and sport (skiing and ice skating). Although, we probably drank quite a bit more vodka than he intended. 😉
Alcohol improves the command of any language you do not speak fluently. Has to do with alcohol’s effect on your inhibitions. When you are sober, you are more afraid to make mistakes and then you become tongue tied. Even my French becomes passable when I am tipsy — and it’s outrageously bad, as already mentioned.
The two languages I speak fluently, and I speak both at the native/near native level, worsen under the influence of alcohol. You will probably find the same with your own native tongue.
You will also find that in formal situations your language becomes worse than in informal situations. I have a friend with whom I can blabber away in Russian for hours, but there are people I can’t keep up a basic conversation with for even a minute before falling back into English.
Your latent knowledge of a language is much bigger than your perceived active command.
Re. Condi’s russian: for all I have heard about it it’s good. There seems to be little she is not good at if it require hard work and discipline to do. Those are probably her most salient characteristics, which makes her a perfect counterpart to W. Bush – whose laziness and lack of discipline is legendary.
Anyway, gotta run. Have to do some professional brown nosing and sponging. What a despicable profession I have.
I stand enlightened. The only other language I speak anyway decently is Irish and amazingly never have cause to use it at home, except with my Victor Meldrew of a father, so it came as an amazing suprise to me than my ability to chat up in Russian increased exponentially when totally pyani. As you can imagine, its also led me to plenty of crashes and burns. One night I met Dima Andropov, grandson of Yuri, at a flat party and conversed with him for most of the night even though his english is brutal( though he spent time in the US) and my Russian worse.We even went for a drunken walk in -20 degrees to a produkti for more booze, and I literally gave him the shirt off my back, an Ireland rugby jersey. Its amazing the shit that happens in Russia when one is totally plastered!!
Condi is a fairly serious worker alright and I’m not suprised her Russian is good. I’ve just never heard her speaking it.
its an interesting speech by Putin, but if what one does in ones free time defines one, then I’m not the best person in the world – cigarettes, cigarettes, cups of tea and books…I’m so lazy its atrocious.
“Re. Condis russian: for all I have heard about it its good.”
Never heard her speak it, but from what I’ve heard it’s not that good. A couple of times she’s committed linguistic gaffes in public, not something you want to do when you’re in a diplomatic profession.
“its an interesting speech by Putin, but if what one does in ones free time defines one, then Im not the best person in the world – cigarettes, cigarettes, cups of tea and books Im so lazy its atrocious.”
Well, if you remove the first 2 items (cigarettes & cigarettes) and add beer, that’s basically me. I’m happy with it.
I’ve heard the same about Condi’s Russian langauge ability from several sources as well. A Stanford educated academic said that she’s not so well versed in Russian affairs. The venue where this was said is now closed to the open public.
Keep in mind a recent goof of hers when she referred to contemporary Russia as the Soviet Union. I recall a NYT op-ed from her where she said that Russia should be blamed for Soviet faults and it shouldn’t be allowed in NATO. This was before the first wave of post Cold War NATO expansion. Has she ever written anything that’s considered profound? Mind you that she’s an academic. A political one at that.
Those are probably her most salient characteristics, which makes her a perfect counterpart to W. Bush – whose laziness and lack of discipline is legendary.
I’m not sure how much of Bush’s reported lack of discipline is backed up by evidence. The man is a recovered alcoholic, which probably takes as much self-discipline as learning Russian.
There’s at least one noticeable and positive thing that Condi and Bush both do: putting aside time to workout.
In addition, to enhancing a better physical well being, some recent studies conclude that physical fitness has a positive massaging affect on the brain. I’m not so sure how their overall statements on Russia correspond with those studies.
Good lord, what odd things to say!
“Good lord, what odd things to say!”
The great thing about “managed democracy” is that you can get away with things like that!
Forgot to mention earlier that this is a great set of quotes. Putin has added several interesting quotes over the last few days.
Ger: its an interesting speech by Putin, but if what one does in ones free time defines one, then Im not the best person in the world – cigarettes, cigarettes, cups of tea and books Im so lazy its atrocious.
Books are good for you, right? Much better than looking at a glowing screen all day. And despite the pictures of outdoor activities, gluttony would better describe my typical vacation to Russia. 🙂
I too find that I speak Russian much better after a few shots of vodka, but there is certainly a tipping point where it goes downhill fast.
I found one academic article to support alcohol’s effect: “The effects of experimentally induced changes in ego states on pronunciation ability in a second language: an exploratory study” by Guiora et al. 1972.
As if we needed any academic research to prove that! I noticed that from age 16 while talking to foreign exchange students at parties. 🙂