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Putin personality cult grows.

"President Vladimir Putin celebrated his 52nd birthday yesterday basking in the warm afterglow of a Soviet-style cult of personality," reported the October 8 London Independent. "Although he and his officials insist they have no desire to engender such a cult, his supporters and the largely state-controlled TV networks have ensured that one has grown up."

Komsomolskaya Pravda, a paper tightly aligned with Putin, ran a story headlined "A Hero of Our Time" describing Putin's school years. Cast-iron busts of the Dear Leader are offered for sale in Moscow kiosks. Tourist firms in St. Petersburg offer tours of "Putin's Petersburg": "The President's fans are shown the apartment block where he and his parents lived, his school, his university, and even the KGB office where he began his career."

Moskovsky Komsomolets commemorated Putin's birthday by tweaking the Putin cult in an editorial cartoon. The caricature depicted Putin dressed as a king, drinking champagne and surrounded by generals and court jesters. "A rightful government is when the sovereign is always right," pronounces the Putin figure.
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Title Annotation:Insider Report
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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