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The greatest Putin music video ever made
This weekend, the Slovenian actor, singer, and showman Klemen Slakonja released a parody music video titled “Vladimir Putin—Putin, Putout.” At the time of this writing, the video has nearly 35,000 views, with more rolling in every minute.
Slakonja's video is so rich in Putin's personality cult that we at Meduza decided to break down a few of the amusing bits that some viewers might miss, if they're not fully versed in the Russian president's history.
The video opens on a shot of a vodka brand called “Putin Putout.” This vodka brand is fictional, but there is in fact a Russian vodka named after Putin. It's called “Putinka,” and it's been around since 2003. Putinka has even received several awards in Russia, including “Superbrand of 2004” and “Product of the Year” in 2006.
Putin speaks fluent German and is said to have some grasp of Swedish, as well. While he uses interpreters for formal talks in English, he has on a few occasions given public addresses in the language. In 2013, he delivered a recorded two-minute pitch to the delegates for the International Exhibition Bureau, asking to let Russia host the 2020 World Expo. (Russia lost the bid, and Dubai won.)
Putin likes judo very much. He's coauthored a book about it (titled “Judo with Vladimir Putin”), and holds a red/white belt in the martial art. He also has a black belt in Kyokushin kaikan karate.
When Slakonja's Putin says he's “a gentleman,” he's referring to December 2013, when Putin pardoned 20,000 Russian prisoners, including the two members of Pussy Riot still in jail. The women still had about nine months left on their prison sentences.
For more than a decade, Russia under Putin has been accused of using its energy resources to influence and intimidate the states it supplies with oil and gas. As far back at December 2006, the magazine The Economist ran a front cover cartoon depicting Putin as a gangster holding a gasoline pump like a tommy gun.
Russia's energy reach doesn't really extend to Africa, but Slakonja was probably having too much fun with this visual to think very hard about the position of the globe in the shot.
Under Putin, Russia's geopolitical resurgence has included renewed aspirations to put Russian cosmonauts on the Moon. Last October, the head of RSC Energia, a Russian manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components, said Moscow is planning a manned mission by 2029. Four years before that, Russia hopes to send an unmanned flight.
In August 2009, Putin posed for a number of “candid” photos showing him barechested atop a horse while on vacation in Siberia. This was two years after similarly manly pictures emerged showing him shirtless on a fishing trip at the Yenisei River.
The Buranovskiye Babushki (a Udmurtian ethno-pop band made up of elderly women) represented Russia in the 2012 Eurovision contest. The group finished in second place.
In August 2008, Putin reportedly rescued a television crew from a tiger attack by shooting it with a tranquilizer gun. He then helped researchers measure the beast's incisors, before placing a tracking device around the animal's neck. (Feel free to speculate that the whole incident was staged.)
In 2014, Putin was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, a Russian advocacy group. (The group wanted to recognize Putin's efforts to broker a nonmilitary solution to punish the Syrian government for using chemical weapons.) Putin didn't win.
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