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You're reading: Plaudits vie with ‘Pensioner’ jibes as Russia’s Putin turns 60
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The ruling party’s loyal Young Guard movement was to unfurl a banner on a bridge in southern Russia which they say symbolises Putin’s role in uniting the Asian and European parts of a giant country that stretches over nine time zones.

Its website published a video portraying Putin as the ultimate lady’s man, waited on by a gaggle of adoring, long-legged women. Other events around the country played on the tough-guy image that has been core to Putin’s political appeal.

Anti-Putin activists say the president won a third Kremlin term by rigging March presidential elections and ridiculed the birthday festivities as a personality cult.

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