Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Girls' kiss humbled macho Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin loves to flex his muscles

A kiss is just a kiss ... ?

I doubt if pouting Vladimir Putin sees it that way after two members of the female Russian relay team were photographed sharing a peck on the podium after winning gold at the athletics world championships in Moscow.

Whether the kiss was a protest against Mr Putin's anti-gay laws or just a burst of celebratory affection isn't entirely clear.

But how the tsar of the staged photo opportunity must have winced at the global headlines it's attracted.

When Putin isn't baring his chest and tackling tigers he's smouldering menacingly (and worse) at anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him.

Here is a man who totally understands the power of a picture.

But while he's had to wrestle with several stone of wildlife to underline his macho credentials (some might wonder why he feels this so necessary), all it's taken is one wee kiss to make him look, well, small.

A kiss and a bit of nail polish.

A Swedish athlete at the same event put two fingers up to Putin's law by painting her nails in rainbow colours.

A subtle reminder there, Vlad.

It's not only tigers that have claws ... ?

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