It could hardly be said that before the tragic crash of airline MH17 Russian Vladimir Putin’s reputation was untarnished. The invasion of the Crimea, Russia’s stance towards homosexuals highlighted in the winter Olympics and allegations of corruption in the presidential elections in 2012 are just a few of the instances where the former KGB officer has found himself at the sharp end of international criticism.
Yet throughout this the self-styled ‘strongman’ has deflected allegations, downplayed sanctions and seemingly marched on, oblivious to international opinion. This time though the level of condemnation, the strength of international public opinion and the widespread anger around the circumstances of the alleged strike against the Malaysian passenger aircraft feels somewhat different.
Today the media front pages are full of headlines about ‘Putin the pariah’ and questions of culpability and sanctions dominate the broadcast media. We’ve selected five headlines that sum up media sentiment and suggest that, from a reputation management perspective, Putin’s reputation is beyond repair.
Headline 1: The Independent
Headline 2: The Telegraph
Headline 3: The Sun
Headline 4: The Mail
Headline 5: The Times Europe