Putin’s umbrella

Yesterday in Moscow, France defeated Croatia in the final match of the World Cup. The score was 4-2.

After the match, Vladimir Putin joined French president Emmanuel Macron and Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on the field for the awards presentation. Just then, rain began pouring down.

Someone brought an umbrella with which to protect Putin. He was unaffected by the downpour while Macron and Grabar-Ketarovic were quickly soaked.

The Croatian president seemed to be feeling no pain. Despite Croatia’s defeat, she was loving the moment as she embraced players and coaches from both teams.

Even so, her status as a woman and a guest of Putin should have merited an umbrella. Putin should either have offered his or insisted that one immediately be brought for Grabar-Ketarovic. But Putin left her unprotected and, in a very short time, drenched. Same with Macron, also his guest.

Eventually umbrellas were brought out for the Macron and Grabar-Ketarovic, but this was well after Putin received his and well after his two guests were completely soaked. Moreover, two women at the back of the podium (apparently affiliated with Qatar, the next World Cup host) were never given umbrellas.

To paraphrase George W. Bush, the umbrella episode provides us a good sense of Vladimir Putin’s soul.

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