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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been accused of weak leadership in the Ukraine crisis and being soft on Russia. Yet on his visit to the Kremlin on Tuesday, he not only stood up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he seemed to relish it.

Political pundits wondered how the mild-mannered Scholz, who took office in December, would fare treading into “the lion’s den.” Russian officials have been known to publicly taunt or seek to outplay their visitors in a test of their mettle.

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