Slate intercepted the message below, sent from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to his close friend Silvio Berlusconi, less than 24 hours after the Italian prime minster announced he would resign. The gesture is not particularly surprising. Putin has long defended Berlusconi. At a forum in September, Putin countered questions about Italy’s growing economic woes and sex scandals, sticking up for Berlusconi by saying, "They mainly criticize him because they are jealous.”
I’m sure you are feeling worse than a dying elk today. And I know that hanging at my birthday party helped cheer you up during that whole mess with the 17-year-old. So I decided to put a little something together for you. It’s a photo gallery of us. I wrote down memories with each photo, like they do on Facebook. I hope it brings you happiness. Is that weaker than Hillary Clinton? Maybe. But you are my courageous Italian brother. Our friendship is like a wild boar roaring in the Russian winter. It will not be stopped. Come visit soon. Dancing girls will greet you.