Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 01:21 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 01:21 | SYDNEY

Putin: Dressed to invade


Fergus Hanson


18 August 2008 11:43

There was a time, not so long ago, that no self-respecting statesman would even think of declaring war in anything less than a three-piece suit with accompanying fob watch. Even for the most recent war in Iraq, coalition leaders had the decency to turn themselves out in smart-ish suits. Those days are gone, looking at what Russian President, I mean Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin wore at his press conference in the Ossetian town of Vladikavkaz to explain to the world why Russia was invading Georgia (picture left). For the MacGyver of international politics, jeans and a polo shirt was just the thing for declaring Georgia's days numbered.  

My colleagues Michael and Sam — who have already delved into the heady world of Russian international relations apparel — will no doubt have plenty to say on this latest assault on our sartorial senses, but to kick things off I thought I would try my own hand at reading the tea leaves of this new Cold War signalling from Russia.

Given the fact Russia has been rather restrained in terms of its overseas invasions of late, at this early stage it's difficult to tell what bench mark Putin has set in Georgia. Do jeans and a polo shirt for Georgia signal that he'll be taking his shirt off (again) and stuffing his belt with a hunting knife should he decide to invade an even punier state like Armenia (similar to the hunting-Putin pictured left)? If that's the case then we might want to look out for a Putin dressed in chinos and a button down shirt for signs he is planning a first use of nuclear weapons against the West. Or is the message headed the other way — save the exposed chest and bear knife for an assault on Europe and the chinos for lesser minions, in a perverted sense of hierarchy? It's hard to tell just yet and most definitely a case of watch this space.

Photo one by Flickr user aublogspot4, photo two by Flickr user ddeandlo, used under a Creative Commons licence.