However, the president’s supporters didn’t appear to receive the memo, and so the day saw an unprecedented exhibition of Putin-idolatry reminiscent of some of the world’s oddest cults of personality.
Much of it, like it the fawning, up-close-and-personal profile on Kremlin-friendly television channel NTV, looked like propaganda. Some of the praise was so extreme as to appear almost like a subtle form of satire on Putin’s heroic representations in state media. And some Putin opponents used the occasion to poke fun.
Here is a brief look at ways Putin’s 60th birthday was marked: