Newsflash: Putin Smiles!

Dour Russian leader stuns APEC gathering with a broad grin

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Mast Irham / AFP / Getty Images

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shortly before a family photo ahead of the gala dinner hosted for the leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 7, 2013.

Vladimir Putin’s facial expressions range from straight-faced to granite-faced. On the rarest of occasions, say when he’s snuggling a Bulgarian shepherd dog, he may indulge in a hint of a smile. But at this week’s APEC conference, Putin flashed a grin so big and wide, it rendered his face nearly unrecognizable.

The source of his amusement? The APEC tradition of donning clothing from the host country and gathering on stage for a fashion show. This year’s runway included Putin in bright green and Kerry in vivid purple. The colors may have clashed, but for once the U.S. and Russia appear to be getting along grandly.

[Washington Post]