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Darragh McDowell: Simplistic portrayals of Putin as Bond villain cripple diplomacy

Last week, Vladimir Putin made his final address to the Russian Duma as prime minister. In a few weeks he will move his offices from the Russian White House and back to the Kremlin.

Beyond this is it is difficult to say what tangible change has occurred in the country since thousands of Russians poured into the streets of Moscow this winter to protest the parliamentary and presidential elections that returned Putin and his United Russia party to power. Putin is still, far and away, the country's most popular politician, and United Russia the most popular party. While prognostication is a fool's game, there are few signs indicating Putin is in any threat of being ejected from the Kremlin before his latest six-year term expires.

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