It seems unlikely that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. Most polls show that he is likely to lose the 2016 election by at least 11 points. However the Donald is making plans for the hiatus between his election and his inauguration. Instead of working on identifying his cabinet, and preparing to lead the country, Trump has announced that he might take a vacation in Russia, and meet with his buddy Vladimir Putin.
What is it about Putin that Donald Trump finds so appealing? Maybe its time to learn a little more about Putin, to determine who Donald Trump would work to befriend after becoming President. Here are a few facts about Putin you might not know:
- Prominent critics have been forced to leave Russia, or face fail, like Mikhail Khodorkovsky, formerly the richest man in the country.
2. Last year Russia ranked 143rd, joint with Nigeria and Uganda, on Transparency International’s annual list of the 182 most corrupt nations.
3. Reports suggest that Putin himself may have as much as $40 billion in assets. His home is estimated to have cost $1 billion.
4. As a child, Putin was reportedly a thug. Putin likes to say he was a “bully, not a pioneer”. He excelled at martial arts and was said to have a quick temper.
5. He was a member of the KGB.
6. East German intelligence described him as a ‘philanderer and a wife-beater.’
7. A series of apartment bombings organized by Russia’s secret service swept Putin into the president’s office.
8. One person who claimed this bombing was a plot was murdered in 2006
Litvenchenko’s book, Blowing Up Russia, was one of the most complete investigations on the apartment bombings (it is banned in Russia).
The British police are still trying to get the two men suspected of poisoning him extradited, but Russian authorities have been uncooperative.
Putin is suspected to have ordered assassinations of dissidents. Russia currently ranks 180 out of 199 countries for press freedom, behind Iraq, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the international watchdog Freedom House.
Though it has never been known for its media independence, Russia’s press freedom and ranking have continuously decreased in the past decade under Putin. Freedom House determined that between the years 2002 to 2015 at least 34 journalists have been murdered in Russia, and 4 others died of suspicious circumstances.
Trump’s friendship with Putin should be enough to make any American fearful of a Trump Presidency.