Nathan Hodge is concerned. He’s worried that our deprecating the Russian Chief Oligarch is only strengthening him at home.
For Russian President Vladimir Putin, being cast in the West as a global supervillain is proving a boon for his image at home.
It’s not at all clear, though, why it matters that any moves in the West, much less by us, might enhance Putin’s domestic image. It’s not like Russians have any say in how their government is populated or what those government men do.
What does matter is whether the West succeeds in circumscribing the nation of Russia’s behavior. Putin himself isn’t relevant to that.