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Dimitry Afanasiev would like to get a few things straight. Russian president Vladimir Putin is not a dictator and not everyone with money in Russia is a crook. Fed up with what he sees as the West’s — and in particular America’s — media bias against Russia, the 38-year-old managing partner of Moscow’s fast-rising Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners becomes animated.

“Ask anyone in Russia, from the average man in the street to the richest oligarch and they will tell you how much they are supporting what Putin is doing,” he maintains, as proof of the Russian president’s democratic credentials. The U.S. has taken its own shortcuts to the rule of law, Afanasiev points out. “Did a few noses get broken in the Wild West in the U.S.?” he asks. “Sure they did!”

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