There is one world leader who opinions about from those on the right is divided, that is Russian President Vladimir Putin. His presence on the world stage has arguably been elevated since the election of Donald Trump as President and the allegation that Russian interference in the form of spreading of fake news and the publication of private emails assisted Donald Trump to win the Presidency. Throughout his candidacy and as Donald Trump has refused to directly condemn Putin for anything and said how he would like to be friendly with him.

Many conservatives and those on the alt-right in western countries seeing the cultural decay of their nations, their borders being eroded and degeneracy spreading view Putin as the embodiment of the traditional nationalist conservatism the western world needs. They admire the strong leadership he provides for Russia putting its interest before anyone else’s.

Neoconservatives, on the other hand, view Putin and Russia as one of the greatest threats facing the western world. In regard to foreign affairs, they point to his annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, his support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad during the Arab Spring and subsequent Syrian civil war and support for the Islamic State of Iran as being alien to American interests. Domestically they highlighting his jailing of political dissidents and journalists in Russia and allegations of vote rigging. Republican Senator John McCain called Putin “a murderer and thug”.

American neoconservatives view Putin’s greatest current crime as Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 Presidential election. Their rage at this was on display most recently with their reaction to President Trump’s apparent misspeak at the Helsinki summit while at a press conference with Putin where he said ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia’ which forced Trump to issue a clarification. Trump’s failure to stand up to Putin on anything was called treasonous.

Tony Abbott an Australian conservative warrior is firmly anti-Putin. After the shooting down of Malaysian Airline Flight MH17 by Russian military operatives in Ukraine Tony Abbott considered sending in the Australian military to secure the crime scene. He said at the G20 meeting scheduled in October of that year that he would ‘shirtfront’ Vladimir Putin over this crime. On the forth anniversary of the downing of the aircraft, Abbott said that Putin had blood on his hands.

However One Nation leader Pauline Hanson who is seen as a voice for disaffected conservative voters said in March 2017 Australians were asking for a strong leader like Vladimir Putin “I think he is a strong man and I think what I was reading is about 97 per cent of people in his country respect him as a leader for their nation”. She responded to the MH17 aircraft downing by saying Putin did not order it.

While it cannot be denied that Putin rules with an iron fist, some argue that is what is a need in such hard and challenging times for the west. Are you for or against Putin? Have your say in our poll below.

Putin: For or Against?

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