Why Vladimir Putin Needs to Show Alaska Some Love

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Why Vladimir Putin Needs to Show Alaska Some Love
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Why Vladimir Putin Needs to Show Alaska Some Love (ABC News)

Tell us how you really feel, Vladimir Putin.

The Russian leader, who recently annexed Crimea from Ukraine, dissed Alaska today in his annual marathon question-and-answer session.

Asked by a Russian woman if the U.S. state could be his next conquest, Putin seemed disinterested in adding it to his growing empire.

"What would you need Alaska for?" he asked, adding that Russia already has enough cold territory.

Russia sold Alaska to the United States in the 19th century for $7.2 million in gold.

Anyone who has been to Alaska knows the state is so much more than just snow and grizzly bears.

Here's what Putin doesn't understand about the 49th state -- and how life in Alaska compares to Crimea.

Alaska's Postcard Perfect Summers

Putin, 61, has been photographed shirtless countless times while enjoying activities such as hunting, horseback riding and fishing.

Alaskans can take their shirts off all summer if they want to!

People who live in Alaska say the best part about the summer is the long days filled with sunshine and pleasant temperatures that hover in the 70s. Late night fishing or hiking? Not a problem in Alaska.

Summer in Crimea, however, may be a downer this year. Tourism has long been a staple of the seaside resort town's economy but the only vacationers taking advantage of the picturesque region this year may be Russian soldiers.

Where to Get A Good Burger

This month, McDonald's suspended operations at its restaurants in Crimea -- citing only “manufacturing reasons” out of its control. The fast-food chain’s locations in the cities of Simferopol, Sevastopol, and Yalta were affected.

A statement on the company’s Ukrainian website said it hoped to resume operations as soon as possible. McDonald’s made no mention of Crimea’s controversial annexation by Russia last month, but the company appeared to make a few subtle political swipes in its statement.

The restaurant offered Crimean employees a comparable position at a McDonald’s restaurant in Ukraine and offered to pay for relocation expenses plus three months of housing. The company also said that employees who wish to remain in Crimea will be able to terminate their employment, but only under Ukrainian law, not Russian law.

People in Alaska don't have to worry about where or when they'll get their next Big Mac. The state has 31 locations, including one at 352 Santa Claus Lane in North Pole, Alaska. It doesn't get more charming than that.

Most Famous Daughter

Crimea's newly-appointed attorney general, arguably the region's most prominent citizen, has been turned into an anime star by adoring Japanese fans who are more focused on her looks than politics.

Natalia Poklonskaya, 33, has been the unwitting star of fan art since she made her debut on the world stage at a news conference earlier this month as the prosecutor of the new Crimean Republic.

That's fine, but we're sure Putin knows who Alaska's most famous daughter is. Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is a self-proclaimed "Mama Grizzly" and knows a thing or two about being Russia's next-door neighbor.

Winter Wonderland

Alaska is not Siberia.

The state transforms into a winter wonderland each winter, complete with outdoor activities that include skiing, snowmobiling and mushing. In early March, the annual long-distance Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome is held.

Arctic Warriors

Putin has "little green men" but Alaska has "Arctic Warriors."

The Russian leader confirmed today that the mysterious "little green men," the well-armed troops with no insignia operating in Crimea last month, were Russian troops operating in support of local self-defense forces.

Alaska's "Arctic Warriors" are U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Wainright. They even have a battle song.

"We conquer the mountains and the valleys! We train in the winter's bitter cold! Alaska Soldiers! Arctic Warriors! Sentries of the North! So pick up your weapons and your snowshoes! We're ready to fight and to defend! The finest Soldiers! Arctic Warriors! From the last Frontier!"

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