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Climbing Kyrgyzstan's Mount Putin

In 2011, Kyrgyzstan officially named a mountain after Russian President Vladimir Putin, then prime minister, in a bid to promote friendly relations between the countries. Putin is now scheduled to visit Kyrgyzstan on September 20. Although he has a history of publicity stunts demonstrating his love of nature, there has been no indication that the Russian president intends to climb his namesake peak.

Vladimir Putin Peak, measuring 4,446 meters (14,586 feet) above sea level, is reflected in the window of a helicopter in the Tian Shan mountains.
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Vladimir Putin Peak, measuring 4,446 meters (14,586 feet) above sea level, is reflected in the window of a helicopter in the Tian Shan mountains.

An alpinist prepares to climb Vladimir Putin Peak, whose naming has inspired some controversy within Kyrgyzstan.
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An alpinist prepares to climb Vladimir Putin Peak, whose naming has inspired some controversy within Kyrgyzstan.

Members of the opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party have complained about the mountain's new name, saying it violates a Kyrgyz law that bans naming locations after living people.
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Members of the opposition Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party have complained about the mountain's new name, saying it violates a Kyrgyz law that bans naming locations after living people.

Some Kyrgyz citizens criticize their politicians for showing too much deference to the Kremlin.
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Some Kyrgyz citizens criticize their politicians for showing too much deference to the Kremlin.

Mountain climbers approach the summit on September 17.
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Mountain climbers approach the summit on September 17.

The Kyrgyz and Russian flags fly at the summit of Vladimir Putin Peak.
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The Kyrgyz and Russian flags fly at the summit of Vladimir Putin Peak.

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