"His teacher helps him learn difficult words – singing songs together".
The result of Putin´s Sunday singing sessions with his English teacher?
Ben Judah´s Newsweek article "Behind the Scenes in Putin's Court: The Private Habits of a Latter-Day Dictator" makes interesting reading. This is how Judah describes the research behind the article:
In the course of my research I had the chance to interview everyone from former prime ministers, to Putin’s current ministers and regional governors, down to senior bureaucrats, close advisers, personal aides and ordinary people. Using information from these interviews, I have pieced together the private habits and routines of this latter-day dictator.
The article includes e.g. the following interesting information:
The President keeps busy, even on Saturday and Sunday. At weekends, his schedule becomes more haphazard: but there are sometimes study sessions in the afternoon. Mostly, English language. His teacher helps him learn difficult words – singing songs together. There are times on Sundays he is said to pray or make a confession. But courtiers familiar with the office of the Patriarch are at pains to clarify – though not an atheist, perhaps a believer – his life is not that of a Christian. --
The President behaves as though he is made of bronze, as if he shines. He seems to know that they will flinch when meeting his eye. There is a silence around him. The voices of grown men change when they speak to him. They make their voices as low as possible. Their faces become solemn, almost stiffened. They look down: worried, nervous, alert.
Who ever told this to Judah, was spot on:
“The impression... you get from being close to him is that he would have been quite happy to step down. But he knows he has failed to rule Russia in anything else but a feudal way. And the moment his grip falters... it will all come crashing down and he will go to jail... and Moscow will burn like Kiev.”