(CSM) When the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday proposed a resolution praising outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for supporting the world’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, Russia stood up to its Western colleagues and said no.
The wording about sexual minorities, whom Russian President Vladmir Putin disdains, was replaced with a benign reference to the “most vulnerable” and “marginalized.”
The Security Council's split on Mr. Ban’s promotion of LGBT rights may be a small thing at the UN. But it offers a partial clue as to why Mr. Putin, once roundly condemned in Western circles as a dangerous authoritarian, is increasingly viewed in a positive light by conservatives across the West – by the Trump wing of the Republican Party, but also by right-wing leaders in France and other European countries. […]
The turnaround in the Russian leader’s image in the US can be ascribed almost completely to Trump’s repeated contrasting of Putin’s strong leadership and President Obama’s “weakness,” says Keith Darden, an expert on Russian politics at American University’s School of International Service in Washington.
That sunk in with voters drawn to Trump’s rhetoric and style, and the result is that “a surprising number of people now see Putin in a positive light as a man of action,” Dr. Darden adds. “They see Putin as a leader who was dealt a weaker hand than the president of the United States, but who has somehow been able to play it better.” […]
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