Russian President Vladimir Putin is tonight attending a performance of the production "Vladimir Vysotsky (a poetic presentation)" at Moscow's Taganka Theater. President Putin was ushered into the foyer by Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi and Taganka Theater Artistic Director Yuri Lyubimov. Lyubimov told reporters that it had been Putin's idea to come and see the performance. Lyubimov says he isn't surprised by the President's choice, bearing in mind that Putin's generation knew [the actor and bard Vladimir] Vysotsky and listened to his songs. According to Lyubimov, President Putin is the first among the Russian and Soviet political leaders to attend a Taganka show. "In the Soviet era, we would have members of the Politburo [of the CPSU Central Committee] come over, though. And unfortunately, the fate of our theater depended on their visits. Which is no longer the case, thank God," the director pointed out. Lyubimov said his company had not received any "special directives" in connection with President Putin's arrival.
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