Cablegate Chronicles: Putin's 'Killer Eyes'

This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The button below will take you to another random episode.

new story button.png


Chris Patten, a former member of the European Commission, reflects on the Russian leader over a dinner of "rubbery fish."

FROM: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: APRIL 28, 2004
CLASSIFICATION: CONFIDENTIAL
SEE FULL CABLE

¶8. (C) Patten said Putin has done a good job for Russia mainly due to high world energy prices, but he had serious doubts about the man's character. Cautioning that "I'm not saying that genes are determinant," Patten then reviewed Putin family history: grandfather part of Lenin's special protection team, father a communist party apparatchik, and Putin himself decided at a young age to pursue a career in the KGB. "He seems a completely reasonable man when discussing the Middle East or energy policy, but when the conversation shifts to Chechnya or Islamic extremism, Putin's eyes turn to those of a killer."

Browse the Cablegate Chronicle archive.

Presented by

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

VIdeo

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

More in Global

Just In