Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Putin’s mid-term crisis

No doubt readers have heard about Vlad Putin's recent appearence at the Russian version of Sturgis. The Moscow News asks why:

© RIA Novosti. Alexsey Druginyn
Putin’s mid-term crisis
by Tom Washington at 26/07/2010 12:18

A middle-aged man on a Harley Davidson always hints at a mid-life crisis, so perhaps the speculation around prime minister Vladimir Putin's intentions for the 2012 presidential elections played a small role in seeing him saddle up at an international biker convention in Sevastopol, Ukraine.

Putin, famed for his all-action summer holiday snaps, kicked off this year's silly season by donning shades and fingerless gloves before bestriding a three-wheeled Harley and leading a motorcade in front of 5,000 or so lovers of the open road.

After last year's holiday snaps were cruelly likened to camp cowboy flick Brokeback Mountain, this year's publicity stunt seemed to be aiming for Easy Rider.

But not everyone was impressed, with the Hong Kong Standard suggesting the PM was grabbing any available opportunity for a photo-op to “kick-start his flagging popularity”."

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