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Putin Pictured in Hell on The Economist Cover

The cartoon's accompanying article, which is presented as a travel guide, says the quickest way to hell is by constantly committing major sins without giving in to feelings of remorse.

President Vladimir Putin was pictured in hell on the cover of The Economist's last issue for 2012, floating along in a fiery river with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the euro under the heading "A rough guide to Hell."

The issue, set to hit newsstands Dec. 22, also shows U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the cartoon, with the former speeding along toward Putin in a motorboat and the latter looking sad as she sits on railway tracks above the River Styx.

The devil is pictured watching over the whole chaotic scene with a copy of The Economist in his hands.

The cartoon's accompanying article, which is presented as a travel guide, says the quickest way to hell is by constantly committing major sins without giving in to feelings of remorse.

The Economist ranked Russia 102nd out of 162 countries in its democracy rating back in 2006, during Putin's second term as president, concluding that elections were carried out under strict government control, press freedom was limited, and civil liberties were only partially observed.

At the time, the magazine predicted that Russia's democratic credentials would only get worse.

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