Junkyard - lazarus
Forgive the goodwin but Hitler also won elections,
You can be a baddy and still be popular with your electorate.
Actually Hitler didn't win elections, at least not until he had imprisoned the opposition, and there isn't any evidence that his personal approval ratings were to the level of Putin's.
But I get your point. Unfortunately you don't get mine.
When I said :
"some people like to portray Putin as some sort of hated and mad dictator which, if only they could, the Russian people would like to rid themselves of"
I was countering the claim that Putin is deeply unpopular the Russian people. He isn't, he is far and away more popular with his people than any equivalent western leader. Russians like living under his presidency. That is not however to pass moral judgement on him, it just recognizes a simple fact.
In the same way that I think the Chinese government represents a corrupt self-serving and brutal criminal elite, but I am perfectly prepared to accept that it enjoys widespread support among the Chinese people. I have little doubt that the majority of Chinese are more supportive of their government than Brits are of theirs.
It is perfectly reasonable to assume that many ethnic Russians, wherever they live, prefer Putin's Russia to the EU. Perhaps someone ought to ask them ? But then of course the EU doesn't like to operate like that unless it can be sure of the outcome.
Western bourgeois democracy......it's such a good idea when people vote correctly, eh ?