Old ways are indeed hard to change. In the case of Putin, a former USSR KGB agent, he is turning back to the good old personality cult that has been the norm in the old USSR and its allies. The desire for this style of leadership is understandable for them as they have all the intentions to stay in power for a long time. Thus, the need to justify their extended rules in the eyes of their people. He has actively shown to the media his macho side which in one occasion was admitted to have been staged. Now his latest attempt is flying an ultralight with beak to allegedly lead a flock of endangered young Siberian white cranes on part of their migration to Asia (he must have watched the Hollywood movie Fly Away Home (1996) - IMDb)... Vladimir Putin Reportedly To Fly On Hang-Glider, Wear Fake Beak With Siberian Cranes Anyway, is this personality cult one of the hallmarks of the "Eastern Bloc" in the debate of "East" versus "West"?