Putin flexes both physical and political muscles

Katerina Barton

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There is no doubt that President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin differ on many levels. In the diplomatic world, one might even call them “frenemies.” But, as for who is a better a leader, there is no contender. Putin wins the title.

Although Obama is the favorite among NATO members and other allies, Putin is the one we love to hate. Though that is not to say he does not have allies — President of Syria Bashar al-Assad being one of them.

Let us not forget Russia’s strong terrain and conviction, which consequently led to the defeat of both Napoleon Bonaparte and the Nazis’ invasion. And although the U.S.S.R. fell in 1991, the Russian Federation still remains a strong global power.

Not only does Russia sit on the Security Council of the United Nations, it also holds veto power as one of the five permanent members. Russia happily abuses this power because, again, Russia is strong and it can.

Putin embodies the same sternness and power that has made Russia so great throughout the years.

In his third term as president, Putin remains popular with an 88 percent approval rating, according to a Pew Research Center report. In the same report, only 11 percent of Russians had confidence in Obama for the handling of world affairs, while 21 percent of Americans had confidence in Putin.

We can laugh at Russia, and especially Putin, for being indecisive, childish and irrational, but it is certain that Putin knows what he is doing — making the US scramble in efforts to keep up.

The U.S. and NATO have teased Russia in the past by putting up a Euro missile shield and hosting training sessions close to the Russian border. But Putin will not stand for this. He constantly criticizes the U.S. and the E.U. for hindering cooperation with their constant sanctions. Putin says the Russian economy is faltering due to Euro-Russian trade being in decline.

As for the crisis in Crimea, it shows that Putin is not afraid to flex his military muscle. This has been further displayed in the Syrian airstrikes designed to mock Obama.

Time and time again, Putin has embarrassed Obama and left him shaking in his shoes.

In August, the Kremlin released a video of Putin working out with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He wore a white shirt, sweats and lifted weights, proving he can flex other muscles too. Obviously they also enjoyed steak and tea afterward, because what is more manly than that? Obama can’t even leave the White House without the paparazzi catching him wearing dad jeans.