Tributes and protests as President Vladimir Putin turns 60

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Tributes and protests as President Vladimir Putin turns 60

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:32 pm

Tributes and protests as President Vladimir Putin turns 60

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin turned 60 on Sunday, the official retirement age in the country he has dominated for the past 12 years, as his supporters celebrated his leadership and machismo.
Putin flew to his native northwestern city of Saint Petersburg to spend the day with friends and family, according to his spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

However, his supporters went out of their way to wish him the best and his birthday figured prominently in each newscast of the day on Russia's state television channels.

"Your name is a symbol of a wise politician and a strong leader in Russia and the world," Saint Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko wrote to the president in an open letter.

"You returned to Russians their confidence in tomorrow."

An exhibition dedicated to Putin, called A Man of the Kindest Soul, opened on Sunday in a Moscow art centre. Black Labradors, the same breed of dog as Putin's pet Connie, were expected at the show.

...Molodaya Gvardiya, a pro-Kremlin youth movement, posted a video on their website of young women assembling to greet an arriving Putin with a cake after taking part in various activities associated with the Russian leader.

Putin's sports hobbies are also featured in a rare up-close-and-personal special made by the NTV channel, to air on Sunday during prime time.

Putin has famously styled himself as a macho sportsman, swimming the butterfly in wild Siberian rivers, fly-fishing shirtless and riding on horseback for the cameras.

Russian bloggers snickered that Putin's image of a young and energetic leader no longer corresponded with his age.

"Lenin at 52 was nicknamed 'Grandpa Lenin'," wrote one Twitter user, referring to Russia's revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, who died at 53.

Putin's opposition also made jabs at the president's age, with one rally planned for the day called "Let's Send Grandpa to Retirement!"

A survey by independent pollster Levada this week showed that despite his age, Putin was still popular with the ladies, with 20 per cent of Russian women saying they would like to marry him.

In power since 1999 - first as prime minister, then president, then prime minister and now president again - Putin has over the past decade sidelined opponents, and in May triumphantly returned to the Kremlin for a third term.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19864350

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Re: Tributes and protests as President Vladimir Putin turns 60

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:32 pm

Happy Birthday Mr President

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