President Putin celebrated his 55th birthday on October 7. Putin does not like to celebrate his birthday, although many people all across Russia could not leave that day out of their attention. Some of them raised a toast to Putin’s health; others expressed their protests against Putin’s policy. Putin spent his birthday in the Kremlin, celebrating with common military men and their families.
The party was organized to highlight the rebirth of the Russian army. “Today I would like to be with the people whom I deeply respect. I appreciate everything that you and your subordinates have done during the recent years for the rebirth of the national army, for Russia. We managed to improve the situation owing to the courage of our officers and heroism of our soldiers,” Putin said.
Putin started accepting birthday congratulations on Saturday in Dushanbe, during the Collective Security and Economic Forum of the CIS. The President of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, made the most outrageous present at the forum – a huge bottle of champagne, the height of a human being. Five years ago Voronin made another surprise present for Putin’s 50th anniversary: a live crocodile. “This is the only animal that doesn’t move back,” Moldova’s president said.
Another outstanding gift was prepared for Putin in the city of Ekaterinburg. An airport was opened there on October 7. Regional governor Rossel said that he asked the contractors to finish the project before October 7 to make it a personal present for Vladimir Putin. A giant birthday card was mounted in the center of the city to let everyone write their personal congratulations for the president.
The youth movement Nashi (Ours) organized a mass meeting in Moscow. About 10,000 members from 20 Russian regions participated in the march to congratulate Putin. The movement prepared another present: the blanket of peace 220 meters long and 4 meters wide. The blanket was made of patches with ornaments and national symbols of all nations living in the Russian Federation.
Members of the so-called Puitn’s Fan Club did not sit on their hands either. They gathered opposite the Kremlin for a meeting. About 40 fans came wearing only Putin t-shirts despite chilling and rainy autumn weather. Igor Boiko, the fan club leader, said that they wanted to congratulate their president because “we love the man who has done so much for the country and made Russia rise from its knees.”
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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