By Slava Tsukerman
The cult of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personality in Russia is not a new topic. The photo of the author of this article sitting in a Moscow restaurant under a huge portrait of Putin was made almost 10 years ago.
Now, due to Russia’s tough stance on Ukraine, Putin is enjoying almost unprecedented job-approval ratings in his country. According to a survey published by the Levada Center, 83 % of Russians approve Putin’s performance as president. It is 18% higher then in the beginning of the year.
The Putin’s cult is growing. His portraits can be seen everywhere.
The most prominent officially celebrated sculptor of Russia, Zurab Tseretely, created Putin’s bronze monument.
To commemorate the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, collectible coins were minted.
The coins made of silver. Each is weighing 1 kg. The face of a coin depicts the face of Russian president, on the back there is The Globe, consisting of the intersection of meridians and parallels. The outline of the Crimea, with 28 cities and towns is placed over the Globe.
Portraits of Putin are now also bestselling items in the Crimea stationary stores.
Those who have more money can always buy more expensive portraits of the President. Russian Internet is full with proposals like this one: “Portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, handmade from natural Baltic amber. 20000 rub ($ 700).
Several days ago numerous Russian websites reposted the news that a Russian woman Svetlana Mishurova from Voronezh decided to name her son Torput – an abbreviation of Russian words “Triumph of Putin”, because she believes that President Putin is the savior of Russia.
Svetlana turned to the passport office in order to change the name of her son to the new one. She said that she was going to use this name at birth of the son, but her mother forbade that, because she considered Putin a devil incarnate. Later, however, respecting the opinion of Russian Orthodox Church, Svetlana’s mother changed her mind about Putin and now she agrees to have a grandson named Torput.
In the Stalin’s time naming children with such abbreviated names as Vladlen (Vladimir Lenin), Arlen (Lenin’s army). Vilen (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin), Velinor (V.I. Lenin – the father of Revolution), Dalis (Long live Lenin and Stalin) was fashionable.
It seems this forgotten tradition is coming back.