Patriots say Putin story ‘told for laughs’

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Did Russian president Vladimir Putin steal Robert Kraft's Super Bowl ring from 2005, or was the ring a gift as was originally reported eight years ago?

It depends upon your perspective apparently.

The New York Post reported Saturday that the Patriots owner told a gathering in New York that Putin put the ring in his pocket after their meeting eight years ago, even though Kraft wanted the ring, valued at around $25,000, back.

Now, the Patriots are saying the story is one that Kraft tells for laughs on the banquet circuit and at speaking engagements.

“It's a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert re-tells for laughs. He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin,” Patriots team spokesman Stacey James said via “In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy.”

A spokesman for Putin denied that the ring, now on display at the Kremlin, was stolen by the Russian leader.

At any rate, the story was somewhat reminiscent of some Cold War drama of 40 or 50 years ago, if only for a couple of days in a slow news cycle.

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