Vladimir Putin’s framed photos have been put up on sale in Russia. Prices on Putin’s framed photos have been cut due to forthcoming presidential election in the nation.
Putin’s persona, the Vladimir Putin brand, goes out of fashion slowly but surely. Russians are developing a new political addiction – Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s protégé, his official successor. The propaganda machine has been taking great efforts to promote the new brand across Russia. The new brand, Dmitry Medvedev, has thus been outshining his predecessor – Putin.
It is worthy of note that political factors are intertwined with economic ones. Germany’s Die Welt wrote, for example, that the production of vodka under trademark Putinka has been declining in Russia. Until recently, the brand has been brining the profit of 330 million euros a year.
Hardly had Putin pronounced Dmitry Medvedev’s name, when entrepreneurs sent in their applications to Russia’s Patent to register new trademarks the titles of which play with the last name of Putin’s successor (‘medved’ means ‘bear’ in Russian). Putinka may thus been replaced with Medvedevka, Tsar Medved or Vladimir and Medved.
November of 2007 became the peak of “hail-Putin period.” That was the time when Russia was getting ready for parliamentary elections and when Putin chaired United Russia party. Thousands were saying that it would be a crime for Putin to step down. Those who urged all Russians to vote for Putin now say that the people of Russia should vote for Dmitry Medvedev. “We were supporting Putin’s course, not a particular person. Since Dmitry Medvedev personifies Putin’s course now, we are now supporting Medvedev,” they say.
Putin's approval rating was 81% in June 2007, and the highest of any leader in the world. His popularity rose from 31% in August 1999 to 80% in November 1999 and since then it has never fallen below 65%. Observers see Putin's high approval ratings as a consequence of higher living standards that improved during his rule and Russia's reassertion of itself on the world scene. Most Russians are also deeply disillusioned with the West after all the hardships of 90s, and they no longer trust pro-western politicians associated with Yeltsin that were removed from the political scene under Putin's leadership.
Dmitry Medvedev is married and has a son named Ilya (b. 1996). His wife, Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva née Linnik, was both his childhood friend and school sweetheart. They wed several years after their graduation from secondary school in 1982.
Medvedev has often represented himself as a devoted fan of hard rock, listing Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin as his favourite bands. He is a collector of their original vinyl records and has previously said that he has collected all of the recordings of Deep Purple. As a youth, he made endless copies of their songs, although these bands were then on the official state-issued blacklist.
Medvedev stands 5 feet 4 inches in height.
Despite a busy schedule, he always reserves an hour each morning and again each evening to swim and pump iron. He swims 1,500 meters (approximately 0.93 miles), twice a day. He also jogs, plays chess, and practices yoga. Among his hobbies are reading the works of Mikhail Bulgakov, which had been banned under Joseph Stalin, and following his hometown professional soccer team, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Prepared by Dmitry Sudakov
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