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No wonder Russians love Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (check out his latest action-man photos). He fixed the economy, paid off Russia’s foreign debt, got the country off its knees, and so on and so on. Now he’s been waving his magic wand in Orenburg Oblast.

“Rossiiskaya gazeta,” the official organ of the Russian government, reported today that a “real miracle” occurred in the western Siberian region on August 4.

“On Tuesday the unbounded fields of Orenburg Oblast saw a real miracle -- the 35-degree heat wave that has reigned since May and has already destroyed one-third of the oblast’s harvest, was suddenly replaced by rain. Exactly on the day of the arrival of the prime minister.”

The daily said that three months of unbroken sunshine was suddenly ended by a gathering of clouds and a burst of rain, which, although brief, “nonetheless made the [local] farmers smile good-naturedly.”

Almost as an afterthought, the daily reports Putin also brought the needy farmers promises of eased credit terms.

-- Robert Coalson

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