The one person who knows what Putin is thinking
A WEEK AGO, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, met with Emmanuel Macron, his French counterpart, at the Kremlin, where they sat at either end of a comically long table. It was the face-to-face that launched a thousand memes, as well as a flurry of news-analysis pieces. (“Putin’s massive table: powerplay or paranoia?”) The Kremlin later said that the long table had been necessary because Macron refused a Russian covid test. Reuters reported, citing two sources in Macron’s entourage, that the French president hadn’t wanted Putin to get hold of his DNA, but French officials insisted that scheduling constraints were the real issue. Other reporters were skeptical of the DNA story, too: “I don’t think that that was true at all,” Eleanor Beardsley, NPR’s Paris correspondent, told Kyle Pope, CJR’s editor and publisher, on our podcast, The Kicker. An official told Beardsley over WhatsApp that they “weren’t worried that they were going to put a black bag over his head and put a chip in him,” Beardsley said.
Guerre imminente selon les États-Unis, pas si vite répondent les Européens
The Guardian view on megaphone diplomacy: countering Russian disinformation