Vladimir Putin is one of the world's most powerful political leaders. What have been his chief goals, values and operating principles? What accounts for his vast popularity in Russia, despite prolonged military engagements and economic recession? Prof. Nina Tumarkin, Director of Russian Studies at Wellesley College, will shed light on this enigmatic ruler, with a focus on his symbolic politics and ideology. She will also comment on Russian-U.S. relations in a time fraught with tension and uncertainty.