Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vladamir Putin: Nature Lover

Not exactly one known to play nice with the press, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin surprised Mediaite (and me as well) when he responded to an interview request from an Outdoor Life columnist.
Texan Outdoor Life columnist Gayne Young, who devoted much of his editorial space to the wonders of Putin’s manly escapades in Siberia, sent a humble interview request to the Russian premier, hoping for nothing. He got an appreciative 8,000 word rumination on nature and the meaning of life.

It’s unclear exactly when Putin got the time to respond to all these questions, though if it really was him, he seemed to get plenty of enjoyment out of it. Asked about why he loved nature so much and how he learned to appreciate it, he gushed about authors Jules Verne and Ernest Hemingway– “the characters depicted in their books… definitely shaped my inner self,” he confessed. Much of the interview describes in detail Russian attempts to conserve endangered animals, particularly tigers, though its most interesting bits are when Putin decides to stray into metaphysical territories. He laments what he considers a “shy, resentful” attitude towards Christianity in America, argues that the human being “is one of the most vulnerable creatures on earth” by design, and, asked about the Cold War, observes: “the vast majority of barriers between our peoples were unnatural and artificially forced upon them.”

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