A TNR blogger flags
this disgusting episode reported by julia ioffe:
Their favorite activity, however, seems to be holding joint press conferences. At one of their most memorable appearances together, in Moscow, in 2008, a Russian journalist named Natalia Melikova asked Putin about his apparent marital trouble and rumored romance with the young and indecently plastic gymnast-cum-parliamentarian Alina Kabaeva. When asked about the liaison, Putin’s face hardened. “There is not a word of truth in this story,” he said. Berlusconi, giggling, regarded the exchange. When Putin had finished answering, Berlusconi cocked his hands, and, imitating a gun, fired with a silent “Pow! Pow!” at Melikova. It had only been a year and a half since Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist, had been shot in her Moscow elevator, and Melikova was reduced to tears. On the dais, Berlusconi laughed, and Putin nodded.
...this seems like as good as a time any to put in a request for a "What's The Matter With Italy?" diavlog.
PLEASE NO GENERIC IR PROFESSORS pontificating about "europe," but rather a DV devoted solely to this most beguiling (and beautiful) of countries. i think the rot extends far beyond the merely political "arena" (good word here) . . .and would prefer a more thorough sociological/historical analysis.
British writer Tobias Jones wrote this
superb book on the country and would be an excellent interlocuter.