Last year I wrote about the lengths to which Kremlin’s “online PR department” went to mark his birthday (that included various “spontaneous” murals and graffiti with Putin’s image and the catchphrase “Putin the Peacemaker”, strategically placed around the world).
Two more Kremlin-paid graffiti – Berlin & Amsterdam. pic.twitter.com/tdhAHFVsKz
— Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) February 21, 2015
That was not the first time the Kremlin went to extremes to mark the Leader’s birthday. But this year’s birthday, as organized on the tax-payer’s money, promises to top all ComiCons.
Here’s the announcement of a one-of-a-kind exhibition, organized and promoted by Kremlin’s own online troll army. Translation below:
Friends, we invite you all on October 6 to the exhibition “Putin Universe», where Vladimir Putin will be presented in the form of the most famous characters, from Nelson Mandela to Joan of Arc!
On October 6th – the birthday of Vladimir Putin, Moscow and London will host an international exhibition named “Putin Universe”, in which artists from all over the world will present the Russian president in the form of characters from different countries, nationalities and ages. Putin will appear as Buddha, Amenhotep, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc – as the image of the Russian president embodies heroism, justice, cunning, intelligence, courage, charm – qualities that are easily recognized and appreciated in many countries and cultures. The initiator and organizer of the exhibition is the largest international fan club of the president of Russia – “The Group of Supporters of Vladimir Putin.”
Last year, the largest international fan group of Vladimir Putin on Facebook held an exhibition n Moscow entitled “12 Deeds of Putin”, where the achievements of the Russian president played upon images of ancient myths. The exhibition was a huge success in Russia and abroad.”
This year, the group decided to once again congratulate Vladimir Putin on his birthday with an exhibition, now at two sites: in Moscow and London. In the new project, the Russian leader will appear as characters from different countries, nationalities and eras: literature, folklore, history, comic books, embodied in a universal cross-cultural image, close to every person in the world.
Time of the exhibition: 12: 00-20: 00
Moscow, Starokonyushenny per., D. 43 (Studio “Promofoto”)
UPDATE: Today’s exhibition is co-organized and advertised in the UK by Mr. Lee West, a British citizen who, in his own words, “just returned from the best year of my life – sort of an extended holiday, living in Russia and teaching English“.
I asked Mr. West what the idea behind the exhibition in London was, to which he replied that he spontaneously got the idea “to present Mr. Putin in a positive light”. I then asked what type of artists will contribute their “art” to the exhibition. Mr. West said that all artists were members of the “International Fan Club of Vladimir Putin”, and yes, they are all Russian citizens.
I then popped the obvious question: who is paying for the whole event. Mr. West replied that it’s being paid for by “the Fan Club”, and not by state funds. But who funds the Fan Club? “It’s all money from its members”, said Mr. Lee. And yes, he confirmed, he is a member himself.
The Fan Club of Vladimir Putin, indeed, boasts that it is the organizer of the exhibition. The club, however, was officially launched by none other than President Putin himself, during the Seliger youth Forum in 2013. During that event, where Putin famously spoke of the need to regulate the Internet in Russia, Pres. Putin agreed to fan-club founders’ request to “officialize the Fan Club”, and launched its website personally, by pressing the “launch” button on his tablet.
While launching his Fan Club into officialdom, Putin said, jokingly:
Sometimes the press of a single button can cost a lot. I would like for everyone to remember: Russia is a nuclear country. You press the wrong-button – and the consequences will be irreversible”
The so-called “independently funded” exhibition received extensive airtime on state-owned media in Russia, including this detailed report on state propaganda channel “RussiaToday”:
Here is some of the notable “art” from the exhibition :(you may want to pay attention to the positive painting of Putin kicking Obama’s head as a soccer ball)