MOSCOW, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Russia President Vladimir Putin, an accomplished diplomatic saber-rattler, told an audience Friday he is guided by the power of love.
"In general, love is the whole meaning of life, of being. Love of family, of children, and of the Motherland. It is such a multifaceted phenomenon that is the basis of all our actions," he told a conference of the Russian Geographical Society, of which he is chairman of the board of trustees.
He later hoped the society would "strengthen the love for the Fatherland" (in Russia, "Fatherland" and "Motherland" are used interchangeably in reference to country), adding such love "is exactly that most important task to which we must all strive towards, and I am absolutely convinced that success awaits us."
His contemplative comments came a day after he defended the 1939 non-aggression treaty between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, which failed quickly but included secret arrangements to carve Eastern Europe into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence. Critics are wary of his historical commentary, suggesting he mentions them as precedent for authoritarian rule and Russian military involvement in other countries.
Putin was also named "Person of the Year" this week by the American magazine the Advocate, the prominent publication aimed at the gay community. The mocking honor, awarded with irony, noted, "Since winning a third term in 2012, Putin has become ever more autocratic, and his antigay ideology ever more extreme. In June 2013, he signed the infamous antigay propaganda bill that criminalizes the 'distribution of information...aimed at the formation among minors of nontraditional sexual attitudes," with nontraditional meaning anything other than heterosexual."