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Putin is the leader of a corrupt, aggressive and deeply cruel state I've been wondering for months about how to write about Jacob Zuma’s odd love affair with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. Of all the leaders of the Brics countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA) of which we are the newest and the smallest, Zuma seems closest to him.Earlier this week, though, I read a book called Red Notice. Recently published, it is written by Bill Browder who, as a young American (with Russian roots) fund manager, became the first Westerner to spot the opportunities inherent in the collapse of communism in Russia and the huge opportunities in huge but cheap Russian companies being freed from Soviet control.Browder and his firm, Hermitage Capital, made and lost a fortune for his investors, in the process deeply annoying early Russian oligarchs by exposing their corruption to a by-then excited Western investment community.When Putin became president in 2000 he quickly put his foot on th...

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