Speed Reads

Defanging the Bear

Vladimir Putin: The West wants to turn the Russian bear into a 'stuffed animal'

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the United States and Europe of trying to undermine Moscow's finances. Likening Russia to the metaphorical bear, Putin said that even if said bear eschewed a policy of "chasing around the forest after piglets," the West would still want to "tear out his fangs and his claws."

"Once they've taken out his claws and his fangs, then the bear is no longer necessary," Putin said, according to The Associated Press. "He'll become a stuffed animal."

Russia's currency plummeted this week due in part to falling oil prices and Western economic sanctions.