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A Think Tank Analyst Wants To Fight Putin

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin takes part in a judo training session at the "Moscow" sports complex in St. Petersburg, on December 22, 2010. (Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin takes part in a judo training session at the "Moscow" sports complex in St. Petersburg, on December 22, 2010. (Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)

We are used to seeing Russian President Vladimir Putin shirtless on horseback, toting a rifle, easily taking down martial arts opponents. Well, a think tank analyst says Putin’s carefully crafted image is phony and affects how the rest of the world responds to his actions.

The analyst Benjamin Wittes is challenging Putin to a fight, any time, any place — where the Russian leader can’t have him arrested. While the challenge may be in jest, it has serious undertones.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Wittes about his challenge and the persona Putin has crafted.

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