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Putin Redux

After an ten day absence that generated speculation about his health, Russian president Vladimir Putin was again seen in public today with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev for talks in St Petersburg. Putin, like any PR-savvy celebrity, dismissed the rumors with humor. And truth be told, he did look reasonably healthy, if you consider the glow of overzealous botox a sign of good health. On Sunday, prior to his miraculous reappearance, in an interview aired on Russian TV on the anniversary of the Crimean referendum that ushered its annexation by Russia, he confessed that he had "been ready to put nuclear weapons on standby at the time". You know, just in case the totally uncoerced and in no-way-influenced-by-irredentism-by-next-door-bully will of the Crimean people wasn't respected.


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