Cover Osteuropa 5/2012

In Osteuropa 5/2012

Tsar and Star
Vladimir Putin’s Media Image

Alexandra Engelfried

Deutsche Fassung


In early May 2012, Vladimir Putin was once again inaugurated as Russia’s president. The grandiose ceremony was only marginally different than his first move into the Kremlin in 2000. It is believed that we know him now. But Putin is a quick-change artist. The media’s presentation of him as omnipotent ruler, commander, good tsar, and saviour of his people uses national traditions from the pre-revolutionary era. Efforts to draw on the aesthetics of international mass media and popular stereotypes cast Putin in the role of modern hero, sex symbol, as well as media and pop star. The symbolic politics of the Putin era has arrived in the age of politainment.

(Osteuropa 5/2012, pp. 47–68)