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Vladimir Putin channels inner Bond villain saying: ‘There is no happiness in life, only a mirage’


Vladimir Putin channelled his inner Bond villain as he made a dark comment after meeting with President Joe Biden in Geneva on Wednesday.

The Russian leader was asked if there was a growing trust and happiness between him and the US president after their meeting.

The strongman typically responded: ‘There is no happiness in life, only a mirage of it on the horizon, so cherish that.’

Vladimir Putin channelled his inner Bond villain as he made a dark comment after meeting with President Joe Biden in Geneva on Wednesday

On social media, many said that the unexpected remark was typical of Putin's Bond villain image

On social media, many said that the unexpected remark was typical of Putin’s Bond villain image

Tolstoy: the giant of Russian literature who battled with morality

Leo Tolstoy is often hailed as one of the world’s greatest ever novelists.

His genius soared in late 19th-century Russia, taking literature to a new level as he explored in fiction the eternal mystery of how to lead a moral life. 

He sought to untangle good and evil, love and lust, hope and despair, cowardice and courage in his philosophically rich writing.

Born to an aristocratic family in 1828, he is best known for War and Peace and Anna Karenina, both recognised as masterpieces of prose fiction. 

But throughout his life, he endured a number of profound moral crises and spiritual awakenings, causing him to become a fervent Christian anarchist.

His ideas on nonviolent resistance later inspired Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi.

The response, translated to Western reporters at the summit, is attributed to the classic Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, who is said to have remarked it to fellow writer Ivan Bunin.

Bunin, then 23, said he met Tolstoy on a frosty night in Moscow in 1894 when the War and Peace author was aged 65.

Tolstoy gave words of wisdom to the aspiring novelist but also told him to ‘not expect too much from life’.

Bunin was so enamoured with his idol that he tried to emulate him, visiting sectarian settlements and even illegally distributing Tolstyoan literature.

Bunin was later considered a true heir to the realist tradition in Russian literature started by Tolstoy and his contemporary Anton Chekhov. 

On social media, many said Putin’s remark was typical of his Bond villain image.

One remarked it was ‘simultaneously the most Russian and the most Bond villain thing I’ve ever heard a world leader say’.

Others compared him to a Marvel villain, saying his comment sounded like it came from the mouth of Thanos.

At the start of today’s summit in Switzerland, the White House was forced to deny Biden nodded when asked if he ‘trusts’ Putin after calling Russia a ‘great power’ during an awkward photo op. 

The two leaders arrived at the Villa de la Grange, an 18th century mansion overlooking Lake Geneva, within a few minutes of each other: Putin, after a last-minute arrival by air and motorcade; Biden after driving from his nearby hotel, having arrived Tuesday. 

Biden extended his hand first and the pair shook hands – a marked contrast to the elbow bumps Biden exchanged with several allies at the G7 – and they smiled for the cameras outside the doors before heading inside. 

Their first meeting appeared to be uncomfortable for the leaders as they avoided eye contact while reporters jostled at the back of the book-lined room and yelled questions. 

Others compared him to a Marvel villain, saying his comment sounded like it came from the mouth of Thanos

Others compared him to a Marvel villain, saying his comment sounded like it came from the mouth of Thanos

Vladimir Putin said there was no hostility in his meeting with Joe Biden in his nearly one hour press conference after their summit

Vladimir Putin said there was no hostility in his meeting with Joe Biden in his nearly one hour press conference after their summit

‘Do you trust Putin? Do you trust each other,’ a reporter shouted at them. Biden nodded in the affirmative.   

But the White House quickly batted down any assumptions that the President had agreed that he ‘trusted’ Putin. 

‘It was a chaotic scrum with reporters shouting over each other,’ said Communications chief Kate Bedingfield.  ‘POTUS was very clearly not responding to any one question, but nodding in acknowledgment to the press generally. He said just two days ago in his presser: “Verify, then trust.”‘

The pair faced each other in chairs, Biden crossing his legs, sitting up and tucking a note card into his jacket, while Putin leaned back, tapping his hand against the armrest, looking bored.  

Putin smiles with Biden as the pair shake hands ahead of their highly-anticipated summit to address failing relations

Putin smiles with Biden as the pair shake hands ahead of their highly-anticipated summit to address failing relations

The two leaders met at the Villa de la Grange, an 18th century mansion overlooking Lake Geneva

 The two leaders met at the Villa de la Grange, an 18th century mansion overlooking Lake Geneva

‘It’s always better to meet face to face,’ Biden said, flashing a big smile, though the event was set up to have no public comments by either man. 

Putin ignored shouted questions from reporters, including if he feared jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

Their second meeting, behind closed doors, ended at roughly 5pm local time – four hours after the summit began. When it was done, Biden walked out of the luxurious villa and rode off in the presidential motorcade, putting on his sunglasses before departing.



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