Speed Reads

Putin on the Ritz

Vladimir Putin is attending the G-20 summit with a bunch of warships in tow

No matter how you feel about Vladimir Putin, he knows how to make an entrance.

The Russian strongman has sent four Russian warships off the northeastern coast of Australia, in advance of his scheduled attendance at a G-20 summit this weekend in Brisbane. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has responded by sending three Australian warships to monitor the Russian ones, which technically remain in international waters. Abbott also accused Putin of "trying to recreate the lost glories of tsarism or the old Soviet Union."

Putin's feistiness is apparently meant to rebuke Abbott, who earlier promised to "shirtfront" Putin over his government's alleged involvement in the downing of Malaysia Flight 17 over Ukraine in July. In Australian rules football, a shirtfront is a "head-on shoulder charge to an opponent's chest," according to the Associated Press.

The two tough guys, along with their less macho counterparts, are expected to discuss a range of issues, including boosting growth in the global economy.