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Putin on the birds: 'Only the weak ones didn't follow' me

Speaking at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin talked of leading a flock of birds and got in a veiled dig at voters who spurned him.

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok September 9.

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

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This year's Russian-hosted summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) wrapped up in Vladivostok Sunday, with leaders of the 21-member Pacific Rim group – which accounts for 40 percent of the world's trade – pledging to promote freer regional commerce as a buffer against a lingering global crisis and financial woes in the Eurozone.

The host, President Vladimir Putin, declared the week-long meeting a complete success. "We managed not only to preserve the continuity of APEC activities, but to set new horizons and most importantly give a positive signal to business circles," he told the final news conference Sunday.

But, in an odd aside, Mr. Putin managed to overshadow the event's serious achievements and add to an already huge compendium of Putin lore by likening Russia's citizenry to a flock of birds.

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