Vladimir Putin has been at the highest echelons of not just Russian, but world power since 1999.
Last night, in what has been described as “the most important speech of his career”,Putin claimed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to be a part of Russia and signed a treaty to make it so.
His actions over the past few weeks in Ukraine have seen him portrayed in Western press as a bully. The recent Sochi Winter Olympics highlighted major concerns about his regime’s inefficiency and alleged corruption.
However, he also appears to have a gentler side — one that he loved to show off in publicity shots. This gentler Putin loves children, animals and fun.
Which is the real Putin?
The Kremlin has tried to portray something of a bromance between Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's former president and current prime minister.
Still it does seem somewhat genuine sometimes, like when he cried after winning re-election last year.
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