It's pretty well established at this point that Putin is one scary motherfucker. Not only that, but he seems to have some sort of deep seated inferiority complex that results in his "anything you can do, I can do better" shenanbons. This week Foreign Policy posted a neat little guide to five world leaders' phobias (apparently Dubya is afraid of horses). Putin, natch, is not among them. Instead, the Putin tidbit appears on Angela Merkel's slide. Merkel was bitten by a dog as a small child and naturally developed a phobia as a result of the trauma. And how sensitive is Putin? This sensitive:
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a master of psychological diplomacy, has repeatedly attempted to take advantage of Merkel's fear. In 2006, the then-president perplexed German diplomats by presenting the chancellor with a small dog as a gift and made a habit of having his black Labrador, Koni, sit in on their meetings.
Is he really that threatened by Merkel or is he just that big a dick? You decide.