(Minding Russia) Vladimir Putin's much-discussed op-ed piece in The New York Times -- A Plea for Caution on Syria from Russia -- is certainly a piece of work that is now getting lots of scrutiny and intensive debate.
The story goes that he conceived of it himself and picked the Times as the place it should go -- but of course his team of propaganda writers worked up the Russian original for his approval. Then it turned out that the text went to Ketchum, the American PR agency, and nationally there was a lot of word-smithing that went on in that shop.
I'm not sure if we can even speak of a "Russian original," as the PR company may have shaped this text, and then it got back-translated. But the article "The Syrian Alternative" -- as it is more obliquely and less emotionally titled in Russian -- is printed on the Kremlin's official page for Putin's speeches.
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My daughter brought home from school a lesson in her Russian class that contained both of the speeches side by side, and the class instantly discovered one main difference: