Putin cries at a massive rally of his supporters outside the Kremlin in 2012.
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Vladimir Putin's torso, which he sometimes bares during sporting pursuits, is a familiar part of his public image. How much Putin reveals of the man behind the buff exterior is another question. After 18 years as Russia's leader – and with another six-year term sure to follow a March election – Putin doesn't show the appetites or vulnerabilities that can personalize Western politics, even when staged or spun. Never has Putin burst into wild dancing a la Boris Yeltsin or confessed a boyish affection for arena rock like Dmitry Medvedev did as a self-described Deep Purple fan.Others see a strong strain of warmth in Putin.Putin was born Oct. 7, 1952, to factory-worker parents in Leningrad.Putin's dominance of Russia's politics manifested itself with extraordinary speed.Control appears so integral to Putin's nature that it can be difficult to visualize how he would cope with not being Russia's president.
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