Wednesday, November 02, 2022


YouTube suggested this video to me yesterday. It is over three and a half hours of Vladimir Putin making a speech and answering questions from an audience at a think tank event and it comes with a real-time translation. It has been made available by, of all people, Sky News; not an organisation whose output I previously thought of as publishing content requiring at attention span.

The think tank is called the Valdai Discussion Club; here is its Wikipedia page, and here is its website.

I can't claim to have watched all of the video with the concentration it deserved, but I have seen a lot of it. I have to come clean, it is a very impressive performance, and something I find it almost impossible to imagine (pulling two names out of a hat) either Joe Biden or Boris Johnson having either the stamina, the mastery of detail, or the coherence (as opposed to blather) to deliver.

My main takeaway is the breadth and depth of the international audience sitting in the venue. The world is bigger than the USA, the UK and the EU. Might the sun be setting in the West?

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