Wednesday, August 24, 2016


What Would Muscovites Give Putin For His Birthday?

A pro-Kremlin activist cuts a birthday cake for Putin in Moscow.
A pro-Kremlin activist cuts a birthday cake for Putin in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin marks his 60th birthday on October 7. There will be a VIP concert in Putin's native St. Petersburg and the youth wing of the ruling United Russia party is holding events throughout the country. Meanwhile, opposition activists have started a Facebook page titled "Help An Old Man Retire." RFE/RL correspondent Tom Balmforth took to the streets in Moscow to ask residents of the Russian capital what kind of birthday present they would give their president.
Aysha Umbet, 13, is a school girl who sings in a choir in the Bolshoi theater:
"If I knew him, I would give him an enormous piece of chocolate because he always seems so sad. He probably wants something sweet. It seems to me that it is quite hard to run a country. Of course there was also President [Dmitry] Medvedev, but Putin has done a lot for the country and he is tired. That's probably why he's sad. That's why we need to make him happy so he smiles more."

Tamara, 67, is a pensioner who spoke to us on her way to buy theater tickets:
"[I would give him] patience. Not patience with us [the older generation]. We are already used to living in different circumstances in life. I wish him patience with the younger generation."

  • A man looks at portraits of Putin at an exhibition hall in Moscow in 2003.
  • A portrait called "Winter" by Ukrainian artist Ruslan Kutnyak
  • "Vladimir Putin With a Tiger" by Sin Bon Hwa in Nizhny Novgorod
  • An exhibition devoted to Putin in St. Petersburg
  • A painting of Putin on Arbat Street in Moscow
  • "The Candle of Our Life" by the Blue Nose Group in Moscow's Guelman Gallery
  • A portrait painted by artist Vladislav Koval in Volgograd
  • An exhibition devoted to Putin in St. Petersburg
  • A portrait by artist Nikas Safronov at his exhibition in the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow
  • A painting on display during an exhibition titled "Rodina" in Novosibirsk
  • "Putnik (Wanderer)" by Vasily Saprykin, depicting Putin as a man with a walking stick, on display at the Russian Portrait Salon in St. Petersburg
  • "Mr. Putin" by V. Timofeyeva and D.Vrubel in Moscow's Gallery of the Single Object
(PHOTO GALLERY: The Many Faces Of Vladimir Putin)
Irina Belova is a 29-year-old journalist:
"Vladimir Putin of course already has everything. A present for him therefore must be very unusual and from the heart. So it would have to be something I made myself. If I could draw well, I would draw him a picture."
Magomed Abdurakhman is a 45-year-old driver from Dagestan:
"What can you give as a present to someone like Putin? All you can do is wish him good health so he can continue to work."

Vitaly is an 18-year old student at the Moscow City Aviation College:
“I would like, with all respect, to wish Vladimir Vladimirovich an enormous piece of s**t for his birthday. Of course, he has done some good things for Russia, but it’s nothing in comparison with [the bad things] he has allowed to happen. And it’s actually becoming funny what’s happening at the moment. Look for instance at the law on protests and gatherings that was just passed.”
Natalya Kuznetsova, a 60-year-old journalist, would bestow him with intellect:
"He has everything already. I would give him the intellect to rule the country. Not emotion, but the intellect with which to rule the country so that people live better. Politics is ambiguous. Life is not getting better for simple people. I'm not talking about the civil servants and the political elite. I'm talking about simple people."
Viktor is a 35-year-old accountant:
"The only thing that a normal person can wish him is good health. And also that his little daughters finally appear and we finally see their faces and know all the details. It's strange that in our country we don't know what the president's children look like."
Natalya is a 30-year-old schoolteacher:
"I would wish him good health. Birthdays should be separate from the place where you work and the status you have in society. In our country you usually wish them well."
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 08, 2012 12:22
Aaah,the best present for prez.Putanin:a one way ticket to Venezuela,with Vakhtang driving the plane and EU Genio as chief stewardess.And his successor to the throne??? Good old Jack from the garbage dump of history,of course!!!

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