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Happy Birthday, Mr. Prime Minister

"A gift for the man who has everything."
"A gift for the man who has everything."
Students of the journalism department at Moscow State University (MGU) have decided to dedicate a present to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin -- a calendar of erotic photos of themselves.

On her blog, Kristina Potupchik, press secretary for Nashi, a pro-Kremlin youth movement, has posted photos of the 2011 calendar under the bold question: "What can poor students get for a man who has everything?"

But their classmates have been quick to react, posting on the journalism department's LiveJournal page various comments ranging from:

"Hey, I know that girl...."


"Ok, fine, you want to get naked, but do it under your own name, don't disgrace the whole department...."

Russian "Newsweek" spoke to the press secretary at MGU, Larisa Bakulina, who said: "This was done by the students' own initiative. [...] The dean doesn't know about this."

50,000 copies of the calendar have supposedly been printed and are being sold at the Russian supermarket chain Ashan.

This is not the first calendar that has been dedicated to the soon-to-be 58-year-old prime minister, whose birthday is October 7. In 2002, two Moscow artists drew a calendar, "The 12 Moods of Putin," based on photos taken of the then-president.

-- Ashley Cleek

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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