Twelve months, 12 artfully-crafted portraits — a 2017 calendar featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin was released Saturday and it features the well known hockey fan, sometimes bare-chested patriot and animal lover in a variety of silly-to-serious poses for the coming year.
USA TODAY has not yet been able to obtain a copy but the BBC's Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg released a brief video in which he flips through the highlights.
"Putin with a candle, Putin with a child, with a kitten, Putin by himself, with war veterans, and so on and so on," he says in the clip. "Oh, Putin with a (one-man) plane. And a crane (the bird). Very fluffy. Very cute."
It's out! The Vladimir Putin 2017 calendar. pic.twitter.com/fEt2tI7Stg— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) October 15, 2016
Rosenberg notes that the calendar ends with a portrait and caption that looks ahead to 2018. "Russia is a peace-loving and self-sufficient country. We don't need other peoples' territories. We don't need other peoples' natural resources. But if we are threatened we are prepared to use weapons to guarantee our security," Putin says in the caption, according to Rosenberg's translation.
Is it weird? A little. But not as weird as the Putin calendar that was published in 2016 titled "All Year with the President of Russia." In that, the Russian strongman is seen fishing topless, attending church, looking serious in a military uniform and working out. A caption for November's picture that shows Putin hugging what looks like a Saint Bernard puppy, says: "Dogs and I have very warm feelings for one another."
Last year, a Putin-inspired cologne was also released.
"It's a warm, textured and rounded scent. It's very delicate, but at the same time firm," Vladislav Rekunov, the Belarussian who developed the scent for men called "Leaders’ Number One," told state-backed broadcaster Russia Today.
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