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Clara Ferreira Marques

Vladimir Putin Sends a Gloomy Postcard From Davos

The Russian president's cameo this week says a lot about what's happening back home, even if widespread protests didn’t merit a mention.

Kremlin air waves. 

Kremlin air waves. 

Photographer: Mikhail Klementyev/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images

President Vladimir Putin nailed the prototypical Davos leader address this week. He started with a little light chat about first meeting his host, the World Economic Forum’s smooth-talking Klaus Schwab, segued into remarks on the challenges of virtual communication, a little hand-wringing about global challenges, and then his favorite themes remixed into a reassuringly vague address.

So far, so normal. But context is everything.