A security guard of the Valday holiday house, where the famous Russian actor was celebrating his anniversary, did not recognize the president driving his SUV
The holiday house Valday is hidden from view behind fir-trees near Lake Uzhin. Russian actor Alexander Shirvindt, his wife Natalia and their dog Mickey live there in building 8. The actor does not like to talk to reporters, he does not want to be watched over by other holiday-makers either.
Alexander Shirvindt is celebrating his 70th anniversary today. The celebration is not rich or luxuriant at all, it is a purely family holiday. Natalia says her husband does not like big birthday parties: “We often go to other people's birthdays. Every time, when we leave a big party, Alexander says he will not arrange something like that for himself.”
Alexander Shirvindt's birthday has been marked with a very special event. President Putin congratulated the actor. It was not simply a telegram or a phone call. Putin arrived to the holiday house personally without a warning. Last Thursday the president was in the town of Valday and then left to the residence on Uzhin lakeside. An SUV appeared near the house at about 9 p.m. There was another vehicle with a rotating beacon following it. The door of the first vehicle opened and Vladimir Putin stepped out of it holding a big bouquet of flowers.
”It happened absolutely unexpectedly. We talked for two hours, drank tea. Then the president drove away. At about midnight we were told that Putin invited us to have a dinner with him. The dinner continued until 4 a.m.,” Natalia said.
Local residents said that the president was driving a lot in his SUV. However, security guard Alexander Samarin apparently did not know that Putin could drive. Alexander Samarin, 59, works at the check-point. The security guard checks documents of every driver before he lets them into the territory of the holiday house. When he saw an unknown SUV, he did not open the gate. “I saw that the vehicle had the governmental number, but I always stick to the usual procedure. I asked the driver to step out of the vehicle and show his IDs. When I saw the driver, I could not believe my eyes. An hour ago I was watching a TV report about Putin's stay in Novgorod! The president showed me his documents with a smile on his face. I ran to open the gate. My hands were all shaking.
When the president was leaving, Samarin did not stop his vehicle. “He waved his hand to me like an old friend of mine. He is a good man. I am as tall as he is, I am just bigger. I wish I talked to him, I had a lot of questions to ask. Next time I will definitely do.” Alexander said proudly.
On the photo: Alexander Shirvindt
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