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What Makes Vladimir Putin Tick


March 10, 2022

Dear Editor,

It helps to understand a leader by drawing on the knowledge of psychologists. They say Putin’s personality type is decisive and his ambition reveals that he is an individual who is bold, competitive and someone who easily assumes leadership roles.

His short comings are his uncompromising intransigence, lack of empathy and congeniality. Another personality test reveals that he can be stubborn and tenacious. He seeks to reshape the world in accordance with his personal vision. He seeks to reshape Russia to become again the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic. That is possibly why he aggressively attacked Ukraine.

Leaders like Putin view the world as being divided into “us” and “them”, and based on a belief system in which “conflict” is viewed as inherent in the international system. Most likely that is where Donald Trump got that idea.

Putin is also seen as being competitive and self-assured. He also assumed leadership roles as though he were entitled to them.

As a leader, Putin brought Russia out of its political and economic morass in the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. We must not miss Putin’s powerful sense of renewal of Russia’s pride and place in the world - which is a strong emotional appeal to the Russian people.

There are two activities that have colored his entire professional life. One was his time as a KGB intelligence officer that shaped his ethos and sense of identity.

Secondly, it is how the importance of martial arts and the study of Judo greatly shaped Putin’s personality. Several of his Judo associates are not only billionaires, but have impacted his political, personal and business life.

Putin not only desires to reverse Russian history and culture, but it helps to understand him as a leader who wants to restore Russia back to its past glories, at a tremendous cost to countries now free of Russian control. That is possibly why he attacked Ukraine, which is an action described by a former American ambassador to Ukraine as “evil”.

To understand Putin’s political actions in foreign policy requires a keen and sober analysis of President Putin’s political psychology. To me, Vladimir Putin’s ethos was not developed spiritually and he intends to spend his next 15 to 20 years attacking former Soviet countries just like he did with Ukraine in an effort to restore past glories once again in Russia. I believe that is what he thinks is his destiny.

However, the courage of the people in Ukraine have crippled his army and interrupted any thoughts he had for renewing Russia’s glory and its place in the world.

Instead, what lies ahead for Putin is total condemnation by the people in Ukraine and all freedom loving nations in the world. His dreams will become a nightmare and he will be brought to his knees and never receive the victory his army was to capture for him.

This time, it was right over might.

Diana Vance,



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