St. Vladimir Vladimirovich?
Vladimir Putin, leader of the faithful?
Vladimir Putin has been a lot of things: a KGB officer, deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, president of the Russian Federation, prime minister.
And now it appears that Russia's "national leader" is being worshiped by a group of Orthodox ascetics that believes he is the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul.
Grigory Pasko has more details over at Robert Amsterdam's excellent blog
"Vladimir Vladimirovich, of course, has been practically a saint for a long time already: he is simultaneously the «leader of the nation», and the chief party member, and the chief economist, and above the president (although by the status of the position occupied he stands lower); he is also an athlete, and a friend of children and dogs, and a psychotherapist (they say that his appearances on television soothe the entire country)... And finally, in Russia there are several monuments to Putin, a Prospect Named After Putin in Grozny, a collective farm named after Putin someplace in the Altai. It all sounds pretty saintly to me...
"Only one small matter remains: to officially confirm the image of V.V.Putin in a canonical capacity following the initiative of a group of Orthodox ascetics."
-- Brian Whitmore