“Dese funny folks. Glad I aint none of em.”

This comment, addressed to a friend of mine who had liked the original post (a link to this dispatch from Petersburg), was made last night by a Vasily Milykh on The Russian Reader Facebook page. My friend confirmed that Mr. Milykh is a real person, whom they had met many years ago while raising money for a very worthy charitable cause in Russia.
This is a snapshot of Mr. Milykh’s Facebook page. He is a former vice president at Alfa Bank, a former analyst at CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies), and was educated at Harvard and the University of Wyoming, among other places. I hope this gives the lie to the common prejudice that Putin’s “base” is the unwashed, uneducated provincial hoi polloi. ||| TRR

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