MOSCOW -- January 14, 2018 -- FN -- Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is preparing a five-day trip to Thailand for a study of puppetry. His trip will overlap with the nation’s 150th Annual Ramayana Festival, a celebration of traditional Thai shadow puppetry.
Putin’s cultural advisor Alex Serkov told FN, “Ramayana is a chance for Mr. Putin to enrich his understanding of Thai culture.”
Others describe Putin’s upcoming trip in a different light. Speaking with FN anonymously, an FBI official involved in an earlier investigation of Putin and Trump reports that “Putin’s Thai destination certainly raises red flags in our intelligence community. Thailand’s puppeteers are among the world’s best. We expect that Putin is visiting not only for pleasure, but to acquire advanced puppeteering skills.”
Critics of Donald Trump have long charged that he is among Putin’s puppets.