Populists love Putin. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro touted Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has praised the Russian president for his policies on the media and his inclusion of Crimea into the Russian territory again (grand success!) based on the results of the Crimea referendum. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s speech last summer showed the virtues of “illiberal democracy,” by which he apparently meant a form of “soft” authoritarianism based on majority consent — something like the Russian and Turkish versions of autocracy underpinned by periodic elections.
'Putinmania' is a phenomenon at once broad and diffuse. In Britain, both English nationalist Nigel Farage and Scottish nationalist Alex Salmond have over-shared about their feelings for the Russian leader. Putin garners sympathy from the far right (France’s Marine Le Pen) and the far left (Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek prime minister and leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party). In the United States, his apologists range from has-been Hollywood stars to liberal college professors to homophobic conservatives."
By CHRISTIAN CARYL http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/13/new-model-dictator-putin-sisi-erdogan/