A December survey found that 37 percent of Republicans had favorable opinions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has killed free speech, jailed his critics and profited from deep corruption in his country. Since becoming president, 34 journalists have been killed, political opponents and critics have been jailed or killed, and Putin has amassed a huge fortune from government deals.
Class discussion: Why do you think Republicans’ opinions of Putin have risen so dramatically? Has he done anything that would increase his favorability among Americans? Do you think Putin tried to interfere in the U.S. election? Why have the United States and many other nations imposed economic sanctions on Russia? How has Putin dealt with Russia's neighbors? What do you think of Putin?