Sunday, December 11, 2011
that one i stuffed myself
This cartoon, illustrated by Star Tribune's Steve Sack, depicts Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin relaxing amidst several stuffed animal heads. We see him pointing to one more stuffed item, a Russian ballot box, with the caption "That one I stuffed myself." The image of Putin lounging around with exotic animal heads suggests that he is living a life of luxury in a country plagued by continuing economic distress following the collapse of the Soveit Union. The caption and the reference to the ballot box is drawing attention to Putin's alleged electoral fraud. Russia's recent parliamentary elections ended up with the United Party (Putin's party), retaining a majority of members, though a reduced majority. By using a mix of caricature and a ridicule, the cartoon clearly favors the view that Putin did indeed rig the votes. The cartoonist's point-of-view is that of many Westerners and Russian activists who have seen the progressive reforms Putin has undertaken being overshadowed by the oppressive restriction of civil liberties and freedoms.