When it comes to two of the world’s most authoritarian rulers in Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad, there are some very distinct differences between them. Both men have led their respective countries – Russia and Syria – under oppressive regimes with a heavy focus on surveillance, censorship of media, and targeting dissidents. Despite this shared background, the way they go about ruling their people is largely different due to cultural influences, historical contexts, and personal ideologies that have shaped these leaders’ character over time. In this blog post we will be examining both Putin’s and Assad’s governing styles as well as current global implications for each leader’s reign.
Who is Putin?
Putin is considered one of the most influential leaders alive today. Born in 1952, Putin has been serving as the president of Russia since 2012; he was also the Prime Minister between 1999 and 2000, and then again from 2008 to 2012.
- Putin has likely left an imprint on countless minds both inside and outside of Russia during his tenure. Putin gained popularity for being a nationalistic leader, consistently advocating for patriotism and leveraging this feeling to secure his continued reign.
- Putin’s ambitious plans to expand Russia’s geopolitical influence further into Europe have led to a strained relationship with many western countries. Despite this, Putin continues to remain popular among many Russian citizens due to his noncompromising stance on issues that would build up the Russian people’s pride.
- Putin has managed to stay in power by implementing various reforms which were successful in having tangible effects on improving the everyday lives of ordinary Russians while maintaining xenophobic rhetoric instead of making actual concessions when it comes to simpler economic measures or human rights norms. Regardless of one’s opinion about Putin, it cannot be denied that he is a powerful figure who has indelibly changed Russia in numerous ways.
Who is Assad?
Assad is a controversial figure; he has been leader of Syria since 2000. Assad pulls his support from various concentrations in the Syrian population including wealthy businessmen and religious elements such as the Alawis. Assad’s policies have often led to conflict both domestically and internationally. Assad has been accused of suppressing dissidents, committing war crimes and supporting terrorism abroad; however Assad continues to maintain his position continuously despite international pressure and condemnation due to his support base inside Syria.
Difference between Putin and Assad
The distinction between Putin and Assad could not be starker. Putin, the president of Russia for over two decades, is highly popular in his own country, where activists promoting democratic reforms find their work increasingly difficult.
- On the other hand, Assad of Syria was successful in preserving power for himself and his family after taking control when his father died in 2000. Human rights violations have been widely documented by Syrian citizens since the start of civil unrest against his government in 2011.
- Putin has openly backed Assad while attempting to keep Russia out of direct conflict with other nations while diplomatically shoring up support for Assad at home and abroad.
- Putin promotes an image of Russian strength on both domestic and international fronts, yet has also shown a willingness to cooperate on matters where interests overlap.
In comparison, Assad’s survival depends heavily on support from nations like Iran and Lebanon as well as his alliances with Putin-backed forces but holds little public trust despite efforts to channel political legitimacy through military successes around Syria.
Putin and Assad are two very different leaders with unique backgrounds. However, they do share a few similarities. Both men are known for being ruthless dictators who rule with an iron fist. They both have also been accused of war crimes and human rights violations. While their methods may be similar, the ultimate goals of Putin and Assad differ greatly. Putin wants to strengthen Russia’s power on the global stage while Assad is fighting to keep his grip on power in Syria. It will be interesting to see how these two leaders continue to interact as the Syrian Civil War unfolds.