A group of supporters of Vladimir Putin have unveiled a bust of the Russian president depicting him in the heroic guise of a Roman emperor.
Andrei Polyakov, the head of a group of Cossacks near Saint Petersburg, said that the group "wanted to immortalize Vladimir Putin as a conqueror and statesman who returned Crimea to Russia."
Cossacks trace their origins back to horsemen who guarded Tsarist Russia's borders and are fiercely loyal to the Kremlin.
The imitation-bronze bust measuring about 50 centimeters, in which Putin is depicted in a breastplate and flowing toga, was created by sculptor Pavel Greshnikov using an artificial resin.
The bust stands on land owned by a Cossack association around 20 kilometers from Saint Petersburg.
Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was condemned by Kyiv and the West as an illegal land grab and sparked severe sanctions against Moscow.
Based on reporting by AFP and www.ndtv.com