Vladimir Putin killed free speech, jailed his critics and profited from deep corruption in his country. And yet, he's now a politically partisan figure in the U.S.
Somehow, feelings on Russia's president are becoming a wedge issue, with Americans becoming more split on approval. That's strange, considering how un-American his ideas are — like silencing private press and bringing media under state control.
Since he became president, 34 journalists have been killed in Russia. Only a handful of those cases have seen any justice.
The same goes for some of Putin's political opposition, who face being jailed or assassinated.
Prominent Putin critic Boris Nemtsov was shot just outside the Kremlin.
All of which makes the growing support for Putin even more shocking.