Books of The Times: Struggling to Love, Work and Do the Right Thing in Putin’s Russia

In Keith Gessen’s new novel, “A Terrible Country,” a man in New York returns to his hometown of Moscow to care for his grandmother and gets entangled with political activists.
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Vladimir Putin’s Childhood Besties Defend Their ‘Petty’ Pal In ‘SNL’ Spoof

Saturday Night Live” poked fun this weekend at Vladimir Putin’s reported personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton.

Vanessa Bayer and Fred Armisen, playing two of the Russian president’s childhood friends, stopped by the “Weekend Update” segment to champion their lifelong bestie amid reports that he was directly responsible for his country interfering in the U.S. presidential election.

But after initially defending their “focused” and “disciplined” long-time pal, they admitted he could be “pretty petty” — and in hushed tones recalled a series of times when he’d turned on them following what they assumed was a trivial incident.

While not directly referred to, the skit was clearly mocking reports that Putin oversaw the interference as revenge for Clinton’s 2011 call for an investigation into his country’s parliamentary elections ― a reason that “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert said last week was “lame.”

Check it out in the clip above.

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