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Russia Putin Syria.JPEG-0e288.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a regional meeting of pro-Kremlin United Peoples' Front in Stavropol, on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. Putin has said that the Russian air campaign in Syria will last for as long as it's necessary to support the Syrian army's offensive. During a meeting with students on a visit to Stavropol in southern Russia, he said Moscow's goal is to help Damascus defeat "terrorists." (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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VladimirPutin.jpg

Asked by a reporter about Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin called him a "standout, talented person, without any doubt." "It is not up to us to assess his qualities," Mr. Putin added, "but he is the absolute leader of the presidential race." (Associated Press)

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Illustration on a change in attitude to deal with Vladimir Putin by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

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APTOPIX Russia Putin.JPEG-0d8c2.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. President Vladimir Putin says Turkey acted contrary to its own interests by downing a Russian warplane. Speaking at a televised news conference Thursday, Putin said that he sees no possibility of overcoming the diplomatic strain under the current Turkish leadership. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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Russia Putin Turkey.JPEG-07f36.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin and chief of his staff Sergei Ivanov, left, take part in a meeting in Nizhny Tagil in the Ural mountains, Russia, on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Putin on Wednesday ordered long-range air defense missile systems to be deployed at a Russian air base in Syria following the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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A man passes by a poster with an artwork showing Russian President Vladimir Putin as Spanish artist Salvador Dali during the "Putin Universe" exhibition in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Artists have drawn the Russian president using 30 heroic themes originating from different countries and world epochs at a two-day exhibition in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrates his 63rd birthday on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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A woman takes a picture of an artwork depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as King Arthur during the "Putin Universe" exhibition in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Artists have drawn the Russian president using 30 heroic themes originating from different countries and world epochs at a two-day exhibition in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrates his 63rd birthday on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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A man takes a picture of an artwork depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as boxing legend Muhammad Ali during the "Putin Universe" exhibition in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Artists have drawn the Russian president using 30 heroic themes originating from different countries and world epochs at a two-day exhibition in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrates his 63rd birthday on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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An artwork showing Russian President Vladimir Putin as Argentine revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara is displayed at the "Putin Universe" exhibition in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Artists have drawn the Russian president using 30 heroic themes originating from different countries and world epochs at a two-day exhibition in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrates his 63rd birthday on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, takes part in an ice hockey match between former NHL stars and officials at the Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his 63rd birthday on the ice, playing hockey with NHL stars against Russian officials and tycoons. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, with Russian ice hockey star Alexander Yakushev, stands before an ice hockey match between former NHL stars and officials at the Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his 63rd birthday on the ice, playing hockey with NHL stars against Russian officials and tycoons. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, takes part in an ice hockey match between former NHL stars and officials at the Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his 63rd birthday on the ice, playing hockey with NHL stars against Russian officials and tycoons. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, with the International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel, left, sits before an ice hockey match between former NHL stars and officials at the Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his 63rd birthday on the ice, playing hockey with NHL stars against Russian officials and tycoons. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, with Russian ice hockey star Alexander Yakushev, stand before an ice hockey match between former NHL stars and officials at the Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his 63rd birthday on the ice, playing hockey with NHL stars against Russian officials and tycoons. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks before an ice hockey match between former NHL stars and officials at the Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his 63rd birthday on the ice, playing hockey with NHL stars against Russian officials and tycoons. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in an ice hockey match between former NHL stars and officials at the Shayba Arena in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his 63rd birthday on the ice, playing hockey with NHL stars against Russian officials and tycoons. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaging with the world community. He said he wants to be remembered as the man who restored his country's greatness. (Associated Press)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin looks at an electric ray fish during his visit to the center of oceanography and marine biology "Moskvarium" in VDNKh ( The State Exhibition Center) in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, sits on board a bathyscaphe as it plunges into the Black sea along the coast of Sevastopol, Crimea, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. President Vladimir Putin plunged into the Black Sea to see the wreckage of a sunk ancient merchant ship which was found in the end of May. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, sits on board a bathyscaphe as it plunges into the Black sea along the coast of Sevastopol, Crimea, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. President Vladimir Putin plunged into the Black Sea to see the wreckage of a sunk ancient merchant ship which was found in the end of May. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)