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Duterte's Putin bromance highlights Asia's strongman infatuation

Vaccine diplomacy a sign of Moscow's strategic penetration in Asia

| Russia & Caucasus
Vladimir Putin talks with Rodrigo Duterte during their meeting in Sochi in October 2019: Putin has proved a useful role model.   © Sipa/AP

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, columnist and author of "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy" and the "The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery."

When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte publicly offered himself as a guinea pig for Vladimir Putin's COVID-19 vaccine, the news was greeted with a mixture of mockery and concern.

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