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Photo by Jørgen Håland on Unsplash.

Putin's life, it influences the Russian president's decisiveness to a greater level. China has its own Panda Diplomacy, on a similar note, Russia has its Judocracy.

Kremlin's propaganda masters once embellished Vladimir Putin's Judo skills by releasing books, DVD's showing him teaching modern martial arts. Very few know that Judo is an integral part of Putin's life, it influences the Russian president's decisiveness to a greater level. China has its own Panda Diplomacy, on a similar note, Russia has its Judocracy.

Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. He used to live with his parents and an old Jewish couple in a communal apartment measly measuring 180 sqft. There was no hot water, a bathtub, or forsake central heating. The building smelled of rotten cabbage and was heavily rat-infested. There was a windowless hallway that served as a communal kitchen and a toilet jammed against a stairwell. Little Putin, fondly called Volodya used to chase rats with a stick with his friends in the dimly lit alleyways. It was what passed for a game — until the time he cornered one in the hallway and the rat turned back and pounced on him. Volodya was able to outrun the rat but the incident taught Putin an important lesson in his life, which he was able to recall even years later; NEVER CORNER SOMEONE.

The courtyard was the only free space Volodya had. But, it was beleaguered by drunkards, smokers, and thugs. Volodya being the shortest in the pack was picked upon the most. This gave him the pugnacious, quick brawler, street thug nature. To fight off the bullies and to assert himself into the pack, he resorted to learning Soviet martial art, known as Sambo, and later switched to Judo. The martial arts gave him the means to assert himself against larger, tougher boys. "It was a tool to assert myself into the pack," he would say. "Judo teaches self-control, the ability to feel the moment, to see the opponent's strengths and weaknesses, to strive for the best results," he says on his website.

Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. In terms of Ukraine, Putin seized the opportunity by attacking the west and adding new territory to the Russian Federation.Photo by Ignat Kushanrev on Unsplash.

Mark Galeotti a London-based lecturer and writer on transnational crime and Russian security affairs and director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence, points out specifically that, Putin is not a chess player; he is a judoka. Chess is a contest with rules and transparency; everyone starts with the same pieces. But Putin doesn't want to limit his options like that. His skill lies in turning his opponent's strength against him at just the right time. "In this respect, in geopolitics as in judo, Putin is an opportunist", Galeotti writes. "He has a sense of what constitutes a win, but no predetermined path towards it. He relies on quickly seizing any advantage he sees, rather than on a careful strategy."

In terms of Ukraine, Putin seized the opportunity by attacking the west and adding new territory to the Russian Federation. The Annexation of Crimea has bolstered Putin's popularity ratings in Russia and significantly strengthened Russia's Sphere of Influence. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought economic turmoil to every country in the world. Russia on the other hand has claimed victory in the Covid-19 vaccine race.

Putin is a master opportunist. He applies the Judo philosophy of weighing the opponent, tiring him out, and then using his strength against him. Georgy Bovt pointed out in "The Moscow Times":

Many judo moves are modelled after the cherry tree branch, or sakura, found in Japan and other Asian countries that first bend under the mounting weight of falling snow, and then forcefully snaps back into position. In this way, the sakura move is designed to use the enemy's force against him.

Russia understands that a confrontation with the west is suicidal and thus prefers hybrid warfare. Inducing chaos is the underlining goal of Russia's Hybrid War on the West. Concluding, Putin's Russia will seize every opportunity to undermine the West and to bolster Russia's domination in world politics.


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Books that you can read in 2022.

Reading allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the world around you, stimulating your creativity and keeping your mind engaged.

A list of new releases published by Aleph:

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?: How to Flourish in Our Turbulent Times

Many causes, including technology, climate change, demographics, and inequality, will cause our planet to change more in this century than in all of human history. Extreme change is offering unparalleled opportunities for individuals, companies, and society, as well as a 'adaptive challenge.' Those who can adapt to a fast-paced, complex, dynamic, and unpredictably changing world will prosper. Those who are unable to do so will suffer immensely.

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There are obvious signals that we need new ways of thinking about the world and our place in it all over the place. Our old ways of thinking about education, lifestyle, success, and happiness are no longer valid. What are the changes in the workplace? When future jobs are still being invented, how can you know what talents will be useful? Will 'jobs' even exist in the future, or will we be relegated to a world of projects and freelance work? What do you do with all of this and more?

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life? is a book on figuring out what you want to do with your life. Ravi Venkatesan argues that effective adaptation in the twenty-first century necessitates a "paradigm shift," a new attitude, new talents, and new techniques. Ravi also considers how, rather than drifting along like a piece of driftwood, we will need to live life more consciously, making deliberate decisions about who we are, what we do, and how we live.

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Neeraj Chopra: From Panipat to The Podium

On the night of August 7, 2021, a billion Indians' long-held desire came true as Neeraj Chopra won gold in the javelin in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The wait, on the other hand, had been extremely long. In reality, this is India's first individual gold medal in athletics since the modern Olympic Games began. The entire country showered him with affection when he did it in his signature flair and smile. The media went crazy, and the youth discovered a new source of inspiration. People flocked to get their photos taken with him, and businesses discovered a new wonder-ambassador. Neeraj Chopra: I'm Neeraj Chopra, and I'm From Panipat to the Podium begins in a small village in Panipat and tells the story of his formative years, which were marked by restricted resources and opportunities. It takes readers through his journey to Panchkula and then to the national camp in his quest to conquer the world.

My Cricket Hero: XII Indians on their XII favourite Cricketers

Pieces from Keki Daruwalla on Polly Umrigar, Fredun De Vitre on Chandu Borde, Gulu Ezekiel on Eknath Solkar, Hemant Kenkre on Sunil Gavaskar, Amrit Mathur on Salim Durani, Kersi Meher-Homji on Vijay Hazare and many more make for a great lockdown read.

It's A Wonderful World: A Memoir

His book is a provocative read that makes us wish we had a life like his. Khalid Ansari's life has been an exciting and purposeful journey in service to his fellow human beings, beginning with his birth in Mumbai's impoverished Madanpura to a father who began his life as an orphan and a mother from a poor household. Ansari has attempted to depict some highlights of a splendored life that he has been lucky to experience, catching stars while chasing rainbows in this 'donkey's tale'. It's been la vie en rose for him, from founding newspapers and magazines to representing his country at the United Nations, accompanying dignitaries on state visits, covering cricket Test matches, nine Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games, travelling the world, and being awarded the Padma Shri award. The author has worked hard to keep this narrative from devolving into a 'I-did-this-did-that' pat-on-the-back, shabash!' By 'spicing' it up with dollops of frothy stories and self-critical bon mots, he has attempted a discourse on the meaning of life, the 'right path,' and the like, even as he has attempted a discourse on the purpose of life, the 'right route,' and the like.

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