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Welcome to the SuperPutin exhibit

December 07, 2017 10:01 IST
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen riding a brown bear in medieval armour, cuddling a puppy and dressed as Santa Claus – it’s not his latest series of publicity photos, but rather artwork at a new Moscow exhibition focussed on Russia’s leader.

IMAGE: People look at the paintings depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin at the "SUPERPUTIN" exhibition in Moscow. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Coincidentally, the exhibition called ‘SUPERPUTIN’ opened on the day that he announced his bid for a fourth term as Russia’s president. It features around 30 paintings and sculptures of the Russian leader in a variety of different styles, all of which were made by Russian artists.


The Russian president made the announcement in a speech to workers at a car factory in the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod.

“I will put forward my candidacy for the post of president of the Russian federation,” he said.

IMAGE: A woman poses for a picture with a sculpture depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin riding a bear at the "SUPERPUTIN" exhibition. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Putin has been in power since 2000, either as president or prime minister. If he wins the March election he will be eligible to serve until 2024.

Putin is popular with many Russians, who see him as a strong leader who has restored Russia's global standing with a decisive military intervention in the Syrian civil war and Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

IMAGE: The exhibition runs from today in the UMAM museum in Moscow until January 15. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

But his critics accuse him of facilitating corruption and illegally annexing Crimea, which has led to international condemnation.

Putin is pitted against a number of candidates, including TV host Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of late St Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, who was Putin’s boss in the 1990s.

IMAGE: A woman walks past busts depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin in the colours of the Russian national flag at the "SUPERPUTIN" exhibition. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Another contender is Alexei Navalny, who previously intended to seek office before getting arrested in June. His conviction, which he calls politically motivated, bars him from running.

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