Dear Punch and Father Deacon Daniel:
I am sure that you are sincere in your admiration for Mr. Putin; but you must understand that others may have a different opinion of him.
I am aware of Russia's tumultuous relationship with the Republic of Georgia. I lived next to a fellow parishioner, some years ago, who was Georgian and I have heard many stories. Although, he more specifically spoke about how devastating the Turks were to his country and the Orthodox Church / faithful.
Putin is not a model of sanctity but I do like what he has done and continues to do for the Russian Orthodox Church. If anything, let us pray that the Lord will grant more peace and stability to this region. It is not an easy situation over there and I am sure it is difficult for Putin himself to make the decisions he has regarding the Republic of Georgia. God bless them and keep them!