Russia: Putin reappears in public

After much speculation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made another public appearance, ending the rumors of his sickness or demise that prompted many news articles over the weekend. This initial appearance is a state visit from Bishkek by President Almzbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan. The hashtag #Putinumer spread over Russian twitter users. The huge amount of speculation shows how dependent the Russian regime is on the image of one man. Some Kremlinologists even were fearful that there was a coup.

The Kremlin has rescheduled all of his cancelled public appearances, including a visit to Kazakhstan that was originally planned for last week. Scheduled now for March 20, Putin will be meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarussian President Alexander Lukahsenko to discuss the expansion of the Eurasian Economic Union.

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News Briefs:

  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has not been able to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table ahead of a key visit to Washington DC, which would have been an important “deliverable” ahead of the visit and a major step towards progress for Ghani’s new government. Ghani has sought the help of China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia in reach out efforts to the Afghan Taliban, and the cooperation of Islamabad is seen as the main factor that contributes to this round’s legitimacy.
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