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Russian leader implies Putin is more masculine than Obama. His proof: their pets

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin
Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Russian leaders can seem awfully eager at times to compare their masculinity to that of American leaders. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin happened to make the comparison a little more overtly than Russian leaders typically do, in this tweet today (the photo at right is, yes, a fake).

When I joked on Twitter that it was almost as if they felt insecure about something, my colleague Matthew Yglesias answered, "Their nation's declining geopolitical relevance?"

This was actually what I meant, for the record — Russian leaders, who've been a bit insecure about their nation's greatness since the end of the Cold War, often seem to go out of their way to prove that they're as or more tough or masculine than their American counterparts. You may have seen some of Putin's  "Boy's Life" style wilderness action shots, which turn out to have been to some degree staged.

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Obama appears to smirk at Putin during a World War Two anniversary commemoration in France (CHRISTOPHE ENA/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is one of the world's great geopolitical trolls, but he was one-upped pretty hard a couple of months back when Obama referred to Russia as a "regional power," which you just know got under some skins in Moscow.

Rogozin is well-known in Russia as a crazy person; in April, he advocated colonizing the moon.