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“Like a child who keeps needling his big brother”: inside the mind of Vladimir Putin

Russia's leader appears to believe his own propaganda

What's inside the mind of Putin? Photo: Prospect composite

When Europeans first mapped the world, there was a lot they didn’t know. Not wanting to admit their ignorance, they made stuff up. Some of their inventions were impressively ambitious. The fictional Mountains of Kong stretched from Mali to Sudan, and adorned maps of Africa for most of the 19th century. Lake Apalachy sat happily in South Carolina for more than 200 years, and was apparently even visited by one traveller, despite not existing. These inventions always had one thing…

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