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Exceptional? You bet, Mr. Putin

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WASHINGTON — As I read Vladimir Putin’s sanctimonious op-ed article about U.S. policy in Syria, I imagined the Russian president sitting at the keyboard in a lovely pink negligee.

You will recall that when a satirical painting of Putin in lingerie went on display last month in St. Petersburg, police seized the offending artwork and shut down the exhibit. The artist, Konstantin Altunin, fled the country and is seeking asylum in France. No doubt he wanted to avoid the fate of the punk rock group Pussy Riot, three of whose members were arrested and sentenced to years in prison for an anti-Putin performance in a Moscow cathedral.

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