How tall is Vladimir Putin? People want to know after the Russian president was photographed shaking hands with Joe Biden, who appeared to tower over the Kremlin chief.
Why are the two presidents meeting?
Essentially, to improve diplomatic ties between the two countries and “in the hopes of stalling further deterioration in relations between the United States and Moscow”, according to CNN.
“I think it’s always better to meet face to face, try to determine where we have mutual interest, co-operate,” Biden said on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, where the meeting took place at an 18th century French-style manor home, with the Swiss president also in attendance.
- EXPLORED: Is comedian Jon Stewart liberal?
Putin thanked Biden for “the initiative to meet” as the pair sat down ahead of their first meeting.
“I know you’ve been on a long journey and have a lot of work,” Putin said before acknowledging the frayed relationship between the two nations.
“Russia and US relations have a lot of issues accumulated that require the highest-level meeting and I hope that our meeting will be productive,” said the 68-year-old.
When a reporter asked Biden if he trusted Putin, he seemed to nod but his communications director later said Biden wasn’t nodding in response to any particular question. Biden did praise Putin on Monday, before the meeting.
“He’s bright, he’s tough, and I’ve found that he is, as they say when I used to play ball, a worthy adversary,” Biden told reporters about Putin during a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
How tall is Vladimir Putin?
Despite the importance of the talks in terms of future relations between the US and Russia, people couldn’t help but notice something comparatively comical in importance.
As the two leaders stood on the steps outside the Villa la Grange shaking hands, the question on everybody’s lips was… how tall is Vladimir Putin?
- TWITTER: Blaire Erskine’s ERCOT spokesperson vid has Twitter in a frenzy
Why? Because it appeared the US president towered over the Kremlin head as the pair met in the middle of the steps before entering the grand manor.
People won’t be surprised to learn Putin is indeed the smaller man, standing at about 170cm, or 5ft 7in, according to The Guardian. Other estimates place his height as low as 168cm, little more than 5ft 5in. He weighs about 71kg (157lb).
There’s no shortage of photos on the internet of Russian president Vladimir Putin doing “manly things”, as CBS put it. “In fact, he has been known to stage elaborate photo ops that perpetuate this strongman image,” the title also states. This may contribute to misconceptions about his physical stature.
How tall is Joe Biden?
In the lead up to the US presidential election last year, Biden was often pictured with then-president Donald Trump. The former president is a much larger man in stature, standing at 6ft 3in (190cm), according to The White House.
This may have contributed to the idea Biden is small, despite being 5ft 11in (180cm). Although this is quite a bit smaller than his old adversary Trump, it is still taller than his new adversary, Putin.
- EXPLORED: Who is Faith Kleppinger? CNN colleagues pay tribute
Trump also nicknamed his eventual victor Sleepy Joe, which according to Urban Dictionary, speaks to the 78-year-old’s apparent “low energy and tiresome” ways.
This could have also contributed to the surprise surrounding the fact Biden is taller than the more macho Putin.
Commenting on the height difference, one Twitter user said: “I somehow always forget how small Putin is. We should start calling it the Putin complex, instead of Napoleon since he was actually average in height for that time period.”