Top Russian aide likens Putin to FDR

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MOSCOW -- Vladimir Putin has been likened to czars and Communist Party chiefs, but a top aide came up with an unusual comparison Thursday for the Russian president: Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Speaking at a conference marking 125 years since Roosevelt's birth, Vladislav Surkov, the deputy chief of staff seen as the Kremlin's main ideologue, drew a parallel between one of America's most famous Democrats and a Russian leader who has been accused by Washington of backtracking on democracy...

"Like Roosevelt in his time, today Putin must and should strengthen administrative control and use the potential of presidential power to the maximum degree for the sake of overcoming the crisis," RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying.

"In the 20th century, Roosevelt was our military ally, and in the 21st century he is our ideological ally," the agency quoted him as saying.

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