A 'Relaxed If Pale' Putin Reappears
He's finally surfaced
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2015 2:00 AM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2015 7:51 AM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with the Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev, right, in a photo the Kremlin says was taken on Friday.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – Meetings between the presidents of Russia and Kyrgyzstan don't usually capture the world's attention—until today. After more than 10 days out of the public eye, Vladimir Putin appeared before reporters in his first appearance before journalists since March 5. Reuters describes him as "relaxed if pale," and smiling "easily." As for the many rumors that he was ill, he quipped "it would be boring without gossip." Kyrgyz leader Almazbek Atambayev chimed in on the subject of Putin's health via Twitter, reports the BBC, saying Putin "just now drove me around the grounds, he himself sat at the wheel" after their meeting outside St. Petersburg.

Even out of the public eye, Putin was capable of raising international tensions: In remarks aired on state TV yesterday, the president admitted that it was Russian forces that took control of Ukrainian military buildings during last year's Crimea crisis; he added that Russia had been ready to place its nuclear weapons on alert during the crisis, the AP reports.