What are Putin’s weaknesses?

Like Russia, President Putin doesn’t have weaknesses—only disadvantages. (Check out Dima Vorobiev’s answer to What is Russia’s greatest weakness?)

From the POV of propaganda, I only find one obstinate chink in President Putin’s armor.

All the billion-ruble worth PR notwithstanding, here’s a glaring mismatch. On the one side, his cerebral, down-to-earth nature that values loyalty, predictability, professionalism. On the other side, the awkward, sleazy, feeble-voiced, vindictive stalker that pop-ups now and then from behind his adopted macho-man persona we all came to love.

Putin-haters try to spin this for all this is worth. Our President is famous for his efforts to keep youthful looks. Below, an artist uses the masculine faces of the hirsute Communist prophets Russia was venerated in the past to contrast them with our barefaced President oozing slick chutzpah of a street hustler.


One of the PR-stunts by our President’s PR department backfired recently. Below, Mr. Putin and his trusty Minister of Defense Mr. Shoigu posing to a court photographer on a vacation tour in South Siberia. Irreverent Russian Internet users dubbed the scene “Brokeback Taiga Mountain”, in a reference to the romantic movie blockbuster about two gay cowboys some 15 years ago.

President Putin’s getup and dreamy air evoked associations with a silver-haired friend of Dorothy reminiscing his young years as a dashing fashion model. People’s memories of his shirtless photo sessions and his dogged refusal to acknowledge any romantic interest in women ever since he divorced his wife didn’t help at all.