History, traditions
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Internet Auction eBay Mirrors Immense Interest in Putin's Persona in the West

T-shirts with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a set of nesting dolls, “Communists of the USSR” and books about Putin’s rise to power have become very popular on eBay recently. The issue of GQ magazine, which made headlines after its US-based headquarters banned the publication of an article about Putin in the Russian edition, appeared on eBay as a lot several hours after the news had been made public.

The average price on Putin-themed lots in ‘buy it now’ category makes up $20. EBay is considered to be a mirror of public preferences in the West, but the price, which many of Putin lots have on the internet auction, means that foreigners do not value “the consciousness of the Russian nation” much.

Putin, a former Russian President and the sitting Prime Minister, has become the incarnation of the new Russia for the people of the West during almost ten years of his political career. The number of biographies and monographs devoted to Putin may definitely surprise those who tend to think that the questions of Russia’s political life do not interest US scientists of politics much. Souvenir vendors do not lag behind either.

The first thing that comes up after a search for ‘Putin’ is a tee with Putin pictured as an Emo-boy for $18. The set of nesting dolls of Soviet and Russian leaders, with Putin among them, comes second for $25. A figurine of Putin dressed in a kimono appears third for $29.

Other more serious offers include an issue of Time magazine (with Putin on the cover) in which Putin was named Person of the Year in 2007.