MOSCOW -- A lot of people know that Russian President Vladimir Putin marks his 60th birthday on October 7. But how many know the price of oil on the day he was born? Or the number of airplanes and helicopters he has at his disposal? Or how many tiger cubs he was given as a birthday gift?
RFE/RL correspondent Tom Balmforth knows all these things and more and filed this report.
-- The number of rare tiger cubs Putin was given on his birthday in 2008. He declined to reveal who gave him the cubs. But Putin Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin appointee, is known to be the proud owner of a pet tiger.
-- The price in U.S. dollars of a barrel of oil in 1952
, the year Putin was born in Leningrad.
-- The number of years that have passed since Journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead outside her apartment in Moscow on October 7, 2006, Putin’s 54th birthday.
-- Putin’s age when he began learning sambo and judo. He holds a black belt in the latter.
-- The number of female Moscow State University students who posed in lingerie to mark Putin’s 58th birthday in 2010 in a racy calendar.
-- The flat income tax rate Putin introduced in his first year in office.
-- The number of years Putin served in the KGB. Five of these Putin worked in Dresden in East Germany. In 1991, he officially retired from the KGB as a lieutenant colonel and became deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, serving under his old law professor Anatoly Sobchak.
-- The number of palaces, dachas, and country retreats at Putin's disposal, according to a report drafted by opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. The report, released earlier this year, is ironically titled "The Life of a Galley Slave," in reference to a phrase Putin once used to describe his life as president.
-- The price in U.S. dollars of a barrel of oil in December 1999 when Putin became Russia's acting president after Boris Yeltsin's resignation.
-- The age of Alina Kabayeva, one of Russia’s most successful rhythmic gymnasts, now a State Duma deputy for United Russia. Russian media has reported on widespread -- and unconfirmed -- rumors that Kabayeva is Putin’s mistress.
– The age of Lyudmila Putina, Putin’s estranged wife.
-- The number of airplanes and helicopters at President Putin's disposal, according to Nemtsov's "Life of a Galley Slave" report.
– Putin’s age.
-- The price in U.S. dollars of a barrel of oil on the eve of Putin's 60th birthday.
-- The number of characters used in an impromptu Twitter flash mob last year to mark Putin’s 59th birthday, in which the opposition popularized
the "Thank Putin for That" hashtag (#CпасибоПутинуЗаЭто). It was followed by a stream of ironic jibes at the president.
-- The time on October 7 that the opposition plans to announce the winner of the most "creative" birthday present for the president. The voting will take place via Facebook on a page
called "Let's Help An Old Man Retire." It is being organized by Rosagit, a group affiliated with anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny.
-- The year Putin received for his birthday a dog that could bark "Vova"
-- the diminutive and affectionate form of his first name, Vladimir.
-- Russia's average monthly salary in rubles when Putin came to power.
-- The number of days that Putin will still be in the Kremlin if he successfully serves two more terms, until May 7, 2024. He would be 72 years old.
-- The average Russian salary
in rubles in 2011, according to Rosstat.
-- Putin’s official salary in dollars.
-- The number of people in jail
in Russia in 2012.
– The number of people in jail
when Putin came to power.
-- Russia's current population. Russia has been in the grips of a demographic crisis
spurred by its low male life expectancy and low birth rate, although there is evidence that Russia is beginning to reverse these trends.
– The Russian population when Putin came to power.
-- Russia's GDP in U.S. dollars when Putin first came to power.
– Russia’s GDP in U.S. dollars in 2011