Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Putin Rallies Heat-Weary Russians

Putin's hands-on approach is an admirable display of leadership:
The Russian head of government was the co-pilot for half an hour aboard a Be-200 plane scooping up water from the nearby Oka River and dumping it on raging forest fires some 200 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

He dumped approximately 12 tons of water on each of two fires, extinguishing both completely.

...Putin's stunt comes as polls show waning public support for Russia's president and prime minister.

Respected Russian sociologist Leonty Byzov told Vedomosti business daily Putin and Medvedev's ratings could drop to 40% in the next six months. He said there was a growing fatigue surrounding Putin's popularity and that if the government's poor response to the wildfire crisis is taken into account, the two leaders' ratings would decrease dramatically.

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