Russia’s president Vladimir Putin once again made headlines last week with another of his by now well-known stunts outside the corridors of power. This time it involved flying a hang glider to escort a flock of endangered Siberian cranes on the first several kilometres of their journey towards the South from the Yamal peninsula in the north of Russia. This act, obviously intended to create positive publicity for the president, drew not so positive responses from bloggers.
From Mikhail Zadornov’s blog:
Finally, Vladimir Putin became a leader … of a flock of cranes. The adrenaline president!
How did it happen? Every year, young cranes in the Yamal reserve are taught to fly using hang gliders. A pilot puts on a white gown with a beak and, making crane sounds, leads the fledglings into the sky. The young birds take the pilot for a parent and follow him as if following a flock leader. When Putin learned about this, he said there was only one leader in Russia and set off to Yamal, to the cranes. There he was sat in a hang glider, given a white gown… But not a beak. Apparently, they didn’t dare put a beak on the president. Although I would have given a lot to see the president with a beak.
The cranes took to the sky after Putin. They took him for their mother. True, only two birds followed him. Maybe because Putin was without a beak. None the less … our president demonstrated straight away what a high-flying bird he was!
I can only imagine how the birds were selected for the flight! The FSB must have conducted check-ups on every one of them: who is its father? Grandfather? Does it have relatives abroad?… Has it ever been taken to a police station? Has it ever worked in enterprises dealing with state secrets? Just in case the cranes refused to fly, a couple of FSB agents were dressed as cranes.
It’s a great start! The subordinates – they like to imitate the boss, you know. Soon you will see a quacking Medvedev lead a brood of ducklings to water. Gryzlov will be followed by rodents; Prokhorov by giraffes – they will take him for one of their kind. Zhirik (Zhirinovsky), for the same reason, will be followed by vipers.
Comments from http://www.mk.ru/blog/posts/1582-putin-i-zhuravli.html:
The man is having a good time at the taxpayer’s expense. He will do so for another six years, if not the full twelve. I wonder what his lackeys will think up next. Funny guys.
I have a feeling that the president has a New Year’s wish-list which he is executing earnestly.
Why are you attacking the president? What’s wrong with him? Every nation has the leader it deserves! (Nietzsche)
It is funny, of course, but also interesting that when people can’t think of anything bad to say about Putin, they remember the cranes.
Comments from Gazeta.ru:
I can’t really imagine Obama or Merkel doing this. They are so boring, these grown-ups.
You see, Obama and Merkel were elected (by the people), whereas Putin was appointed to be our leader. Which means he can do whatever he pleases and doesn’t give a damn about the people. In fact, you should thank him that he hasn’t made his dog Connie a senator yet.
[Putin] cheated the cranes by promising them to fly south with them…
The same will happen with his electorate.
Comments from PublicPost.ru:
Thank God Putin is not a forester. Looking at the state of today’s Russia, I would hate to think of what would happen to our environment if that were the case.
Any good deed will be turned on its head by you people. It’s a real vipers’ den here. The president flew where he wanted, so what? Why are giving vent to your bile here?
I really feel like that poor bird myself…