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Body Language: Does Obama Think Putin Is His Boss?

A body language expert analyzes a photo of the Presidents’ meeting at the G20 in China

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama met in China. The leaders discussed  Syria and Ukraine for more than an hour on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Earlier, journalists reported that Obama came up to Putin and asked for a meeting.  

The journalists tried to shoot every moment of the encounter. In one of the pictures, Putin and Obama are standing opposite one another, eye to eye, like boxers before a fight. Komsomolskaya Pravda asked a physiognomy expert, Svetlana Filatova, to comment on the message of the two world leaders transmitted by their appearance and behavior.

<figcaption>The picture examined by physiognomy expert Svetlana Filatova</figcaption>
The picture examined by physiognomy expert Svetlana Filatova

“Confrontation can be seen on the photo. Putin is pursuing his lips in what can be considered as a smile, covering his body with a hand as if ready to repel an attack.

Neither Obama nor Putin show any intimidating gestures toward each other, everything is neutral. However, when Obama went toward Vladimir Putin, he leaned slightly forward, while Putin stood straight. This means he is the leader here, standing his ground with both feet steady.. For him these negotiations are not such a big deal.

Obama is more interested in the meeting. He clearly wants to please the Russian president. I suppose Obama held his palm facing down while shaking Putin’s hand, like an employee shaking his boss’s hand. The less powerful person holds his palm down. Besides, Putin looks confident, while Obama looks ingratiating. When they talk, Putin doesn’t show any emotion. Obama was holding forth and the Russian leader was filtering the received information.

Obama’s career is coming to an end. He is trying to impress Putin, his face suggesting sadness, while the inner edges of his brows are slightly raised, expressing insecurity.” 

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