Putin Absence, Nemtsov Killing Spark Nervous Rumors in Russia

Putin Absence, Nemtsov Killing Spark Nervous Rumors in Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atanbayev in the Konstantin Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia, March 16, 2015 (AP photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service).

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atanbayev in St. Petersburg today, his first public appearance since March 5, when he held a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Moscow. Between then and now, Putin canceled several important meetings, including one intended to mend relations with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and another with representatives of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia. Putin offered no explanation for his lengthiest absence since 2012, saying only, “It would be dull without gossip.” Atanbayev also made a point of telling the media that Putin had personally driven him […]

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