Having just returned from a couple days in Russia, it’s interesting to see the headline In Russian Cities, Mock Gravestones Are Sounding Putin’s Death Knell. Add that to this, and go ahead, take a moment to be an optimist.
There are a lot of people at this protest, aimed against a proposed law allowing extradition of Hong Kong citizens to Beijing.
Chinese media blamed “collusion with the West”.
‘If he was that sure of himself,’ Obama said, ‘he wouldn’t have his picture taken riding around with his shirt off.’
Ben Rhodes in The World as It Is.
The site of the Trump/Putin summit is a compact, handsome, livable low-rise town of around 600,000. Click these photos to enlarge them.
President Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg is a little less than 400 kilometers up the road. The high speed Allegro train connects Helsinki with St. Petersburg in three and a half hours, four times a day.
Mr. Putin must feel – almost – at home. The lay of the land, the lakes and forests, is the same in Finland as where the Russian president grew up. Here is Mr. Putin with Sauli Niinistö, the Finnish president, on a boat tour when we saw them last summer. Saimaa, the name of the ship, is also the name of the lake:
There are many more photos from lovely Finland here, at EarthPhotos.com.
After their cruise yesterday, Presidents Niinistö and Putin joined us at the Savonlinna Opera Festival for the Bolshoi Theatre’s performance of Pytor Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.
It was an authentic treat to hear the The Bolshoi Theatre Choir and Orchestra play Tchaikovsky, but the presidents and their retinues kept largely to themselves.
Presidents Niinistö and Putin from my vantage point yesterday on the dock at Savonlinna, Finland. After official talks the presidents took a short tour of the lakes of Eastern Savo before a night at the opera.