Snowden Tests Putin’s Machiavellianism

Writing in The Moscow TimesPeter Rutland explores the domestic Russian politics surrounding Vladamir Putin’s handling of the Edward Snowden affair.

“In Russia, as most everywhere else, all politics is local. Snowden poses a dilemma for Putin that goes beyond the sorry state of U.S.-Russian relations. Snowden was not a defector, offering secrets to Russia in return for money or sex. Rather he portrays himself as a human rights activist, speaking truth to power and appealing to global public opinion. Snowden has proven himself to be contemptuous of state control, while Putin is a control freak,” he writes.

Rutland is Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European Studies, and tutor in the College of Social Studies