Putin triumphs in 2013 yet tough challenges loom

December 31, 2013 1:26 PM

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Putin also surprised both his own people and the world by pardoning his old foe, former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and allowing an amnesty that got two Pussy Riot punk band members and over two dozen Greenpeace anti-oil drilling activists out of prison.

“It’s Putin’s moment. He should feel quite happy,” said Gleb Pavlovsky, a political strategist and onetime adviser to the Kremlin.

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