Mr. Eugene Volokh published an article titled Vladimir Putin, Better Than Any Psychotherapist. In the article, Mr. Volokh, with the aid of his mother, translated a new song by Leningrad, a Russian band.  Mr. Volokh interpreted the lyrics as subtly mocking Russian President Vladimir Putin.  I encourage you to read the full article, which includes the video, for yourself.  Here, I focus on lone line from Mr. Volokh’s translation of the song and his attached footnote.

From the song:

Too bad he spoke so briefly…

“He” refers to Mr. Putin. Mr. Volokh then offered the following footnote on this line:

Putin’s Feb. 21, 2023 speech was actually an hour and 45 minutes long.

My second New Leaf Journal article covered a four-hour speech by Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan.  A 2017 article on the speech noted that Mr. Mirziyoyev discussed curbing the excesses of Uzbekistan’s security services.  While some of the content may have been positive, I expressed concerns about the context:

Considering the nearly unchecked powers that inhere in the Uzbek presidency, we cannot overlook the action of speaking to a figuratively – and perhaps literally – captive audience for four hours.

While Mr. Putin mercifully did not drone on for four hours, I will take the position that 1 hour and 45 minutes is still veering into the danger zone.  You can say a bit about autocratic tendencies by how long someone speaks.  However, as troubling as Mr. Putin’s speeches may be (both in terms of content and context), he cannot hold a candle to his on again, off again ally (currently very on again), President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.  From an archived official news release from the Government of Belarus on February 3, 2017:

The meeting of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko with representatives of the general public, Belarusian and foreign mass media on 3 February lasted for 7 hours and 20 minutes, setting a new record, BelTA has learned.

Other posts of interest: