This is the greatest news story of all time this week.
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner, claims that his ring was taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin back in 2005. He showed Putin the ring, Putin said (according to Kraft) “I can kill someone with this ring” and then the Russian president pocketed it, was surrounded by KGB agents, and left before Kraft could get it back.
The ring is now on display in a museum in the Kremlin along with other state gifts. Kraft tried to get his ring back, but says he got a call from the Bush administration asking him not to ask for the ring, lest it disrupt diplomatic relations. Fortunately, his team won two more rings so it wasn’t a problem, and according to a rep for the Patriots: “He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin.”
If Kraft’s original story is to be believed, the great thing about being Vladimir Putin is that you can use playground rules to hang on to shiny, exciting items that you want. I imagine little Vladimir Putin was a lot of fun at recess. “Thank you for giving me your lunch money, your Spiderman lunchbox, and your pants to further Vladimir-You diplomatic relations,” he was fond of saying, as you cried in the corner with a plastic bag of celery your mother had packed as an afterthought. “I appreciate your generous gift.”
Listen, when you hand something to Vladimir Putin, don’t expect to see it ever again. Especially do not hand him your baby, or people will testify that “I saw you give that child to Premier Putin to hold and it seemed very clear that you did not want it back. Long live Putin, vigorous and attractive as always!”
Here is a dramatic retelling, just so we are clear.
And here’s Putin’s version.