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Vladimir Putin, A Bismarck For The Modern Age? by Robert Bridge

It would be no exaggeration to say that Putin has been the real peacemaker since coming to power, Robert Bridge writes.
While no historical analogies are ever perfect, there are some noteworthy similarities between the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and Vladimir Putin, although not for the reasons some pundits are suggesting. Bismarck, the 19th century German statesman from a landowning Junker family, may never have appeared shirtless astride a horse, or photographed saving a television crew from a Siberian tiger, but there is more to the story between he and Vladimir Putin than first meets the eye. Much like the Russian leader from a later epoch, Bismarck, the fervent anti-liberal who held sway over Prussia from 1871 to 1890, found it a matter of existential importance to bring his own people, the Germans, together in common ‘statehood.’ But whereas Bismarck’s empire-building initiatives led to a string of successful wars against Denmark, Austria and France, Putin’s nation-building efforts were necessarily focused on long-simmering internal problems, which had the potential, if not defused, to bring post-communist Russia to its knees.

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