Andrey Piontkovsky

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  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. Putin and Francis met privately for 35 minutes Monday evening in the pope's private library. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

    Putin outflanks his foes at home, Obama abroad

    Since facing massive protests last winter, he has stifled nearly all domestic dissent and implemented widely criticized anti-gay laws as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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