Speed Reads

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Did Putin get 'exactly what he wanted' out of Biden summit?

ABC News reporter Rachel Scott — who asked Russian President Vladimir Putin last week "what he's afraid of" after noting that his political opponents frequently end up dead or imprisoned  — told her colleague George Stephanopoulos on Sunday's edition of This Week that critics of President Biden's meeting with his Russian counterpart will say "Putin got exactly what he wanted" from the summit. "He is on the world stage ... and he was the talk of the town" without having to admit to, or even acknowledge in a meaningful way, the allegations of human rights abuses he faces, Scott explained.

But over on NBC News, Fiona Hill, who served as the National Security Council's top Russia adviser from 2017 to 2019, said that while simply having a sit-down with Biden was a "very important win" for Putin, he still has to deliver back home. "He's got to show he's still popular" in Russia's 2024 elections, she said, and he's also dealing with a challenging COVID-19 vaccine rollout. "So Putin's got to figure out how to navigate things, and he can't just basically live off an episodic meeting with the United States president in Geneva for months to come," she said. "He has to get something out of this, as well."