Some think the witch hunt against gays shows Putin is trying to deflect attention as the economy slows down and perhaps playing defense against opposition accusations that his friends have stolen as much as $30 billion in money earmarked for the Olympics.
Putin has always understood the power of propaganda and has never shied from showing himself as relentlessly macho, able to take on tigers, ride horses bare-chested or catch the biggest fish while displaying his youthful musculature.
The Russian president understands the power of images.
For those who want to stop, or at least slow the vicious crackdown against gays, lesbians and anyone who supports equality, that provides an opportunity to push back.
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