Putin's Playful Streak

As his country faces some of its biggest international challenges in the post-Soviet era, Russian President Vladimir Putin is showing an incredible levity.

Awkward moments.

Photographer: Feng Li/Getty Images

At the Asia-Pacific summit in China, Russian President Vladimir Putin did his best to appear relaxed, even playful. As his country faces some of its biggest international challenges in the post-Soviet era, he is showing an incredible levity. There are two ways to interpret that: as a subtle attempt at intimidation, or a sign that he thinks his relationship with the West can still be repaired.

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