St. Petersburg Cossacks have announced that they are planning to commemorate Russia's Victory Day holiday by erecting a bust of President Vladimir Putin in the guise of a Roman emperor.
Sculptor Pavel Greshnikov is currently completing work on a clay version of the bust, which depicts Putin in plate armor, flowing scarves, and a laurel-leaf crown.
The bust, which will be cast in bronze, is due to be unveiled outside a metro station on the northern outskirts of St. Petersburg on May 9, the holiday commemorating the Soviet victory in World War II.
Andrei Polyakov, the ataman of St. Petersburg's community of Cossacks -- a group that takes pride in a reputation for fierce patriotism and military prowess -- said this week the project was inspired by Russia's annexation of Crimea and what he calls Putin's policy of "reuniting Russia's ancient lands."
Polyakov told local media that he considers Putin the "embodiment of masculinity" and that Russia today is a "true empire."
Greshnikov says he does not agree with all of Putin's decisions, but that he is one of the very few Russian leaders in the past 50 years who has done his job.