05/03/2014 11:16 GMT | Updated 05/03/2014 11:59 GMT

Remember When Western Leaders Said Super Friendly Things About Putin?

There is always a danger of diplomatic niceties or overt praise coming back to bite you, especially when the positive things you said publicly were about someone who then, er, launches an invasion.

These days, Vladimir Putin is persona non grata in Paris, London and Washington. He is a bad, bad man, say the West's presidents and prime ministers. But that isn't what they always thought. Let HuffPost UK take you on a Putin-themed trip down memory lane..

Photo gallery When Putin Was Popular See Gallery