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Putin And A Whole Lada Nada

Putin and Ladas don't mix.

Regular readers will remember the Russian prime minister's disastrous 2,000-kilometer drive across Siberia in a Lada Kalina, a stunt intended to promote Russia's beleaguered car industry.

Video soon surfaced of Putin passing by in his canary-yellow Kalina, followed shortly thereafter by two identical cars, one of them riding atop a tow truck. Much laughter ensued.

Now, video has emerged of Putin taking a test drive -- or trying to take a test drive -- in a brand-new Lada Granta. The only problem is, the darn car won't start. Putin tries and tries -- at least five times -- but the engine won't turn over. It's hard to watch, frankly.

Eventually (the video is obviously edited, so who knows how many more times he tried), Putin gets his motor running.

-- Grant Podelco

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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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