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“Putin is one autocrat who can truly say, ‘l’état c’est moi.”

Vladimir Putin thinks of his cold blue eyes as weapons. “They consume you,” Angus Roxburgh confides at the beginning of his new book, Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia; his “is a glowering, piercing, highly unsettling look.” In the strangest and most telling response of his four-hour TV phone-in on 15th December, Putin revealed just how much he believes in the power of his own gaze. When asked about the mass protests against his regime that month,…

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