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Thursday, 6 December, 2001, 06:46 GMT
'Twelve moods of Putin' hits Russia
New calendar
The calendar is the hottest Christmas present in Moscow
A pin-up calendar of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is proving to be one of the most sought-after Christmas presents in Moscow.

calendar
Stern and in deep frown

Many analysts believe that a large-format calendar "The 12 moods of Putin" - issued in a limited edition of only 1,000 copies - is the latest evidence of Russians' fascination with their president.

In one of them, Mr Putin looks stern and in a deep frown, in another, his face betrays the slightest of smiles, and in yet another, he sits cross-legged in his judo outfit.


While drawing, we literally fell in love with him

Viktoria Timofeyeva

The portraits were painted by two Moscow artists Dmitri Vrubel and Viktoria Timofeyeva, who then decided to turn them into the calendar - one for each calendar month and a cover.

They can be seen in an exhibition that has opened in a Moscow gallery.

Admired

President Putin is the most popular politician in Russia, and is widely admired for restoring national pride since he took over from increasingly erratic and unpredictable Boris Yeltsin.

calendar
Putin cross-legged in his judo outfit

"While drawing, we literally fell in love with him," said Viktoria Timofeyeva.

Many Moscovites have expressed dismay that the calendars are not on sale for general public.

Mr Vrubel says he has received a number of calls from people eager to get hold of a copy.

But there are some who say they do not see the point of the whole idea.

See also:

15 Jun 01 | Media reports
Private enterprise meets personality cult
08 Mar 00 | Europe
Why is Putin popular?
03 Oct 01 | Europe
Analysis: Putin looks West
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