A huge hall filled with almost a thousand journalists, his formal “year-ender” December 17 news conference, broadcast live on all the major Russian TV networks and websites.
A question about Turkey, and why it shot down a Russian warplane in November. President Putin was still furious. With a sneer and a snort, he let loose a volley of trash-talk.
“If anyone in the Turkish leadership decided to lick the Americans in a certain place — I don’t know if they acted correctly or not — I don’t know whether the Americans need that.”
Laughs, and even applause from some of the Russian reporters. Foreign journalists looked stunned.