Putin's female fans call for 3rd presidency
MOSCOW (AP) — Dozens of Vladimir Putin's young, female fans have banded together in a group dubbed "Putin's Army" to call out to like-minded girls to strip down in support of his return to the presidency.
Members of the group shot a suggestive and racy video featuring attractive women who tout Putin's virtues as a national leader and all-around "awesome man."
In the clip, one woman calls on potential members to produce their own videos and "tell us what you would do for your president." At the end of the video, which has gone viral in Russia, viewers are encouraged to "tear it up" for Putin as a girl pulls down her white tank top to reveal her bra.
It is not clear where or how the group originated, but the antics resemble an October stunt staged by Moscow State University students who posed semi-naked for a calendar to be given as a birthday present to Putin. "Putin's Army" website claims it has 800 members.
Putin served a double term as president from 2000 to 2008 and has not excluded running for a third term in the March vote. He and the man he picked to succeed him in 2008, Dmitry Medvedev, have vowed not to run against each other.
Putin earlier this year started up the All-Russia Front, a movement he said was aimed at uniting Russians but widely understood to be geared at building support while distancing himself from United Russia, the ruling party that has suffered persistent corruption allegations in recent times.