Putin on the Ritz

March 12, 2011 at 6:44 PM Leave a comment

The New York Times reports that former Russian president, current Russian prime minister, and all-around real-life Bond villain Vladimir Putin’s fund-raising musical performance last December may not have actually raised any money for the charity it purported to fund.

The issue has come to light after one mother, who thought her cancer-stricken daughter was in line to benefit from the funds raised, published an open letter saying no money had made it to the targeted hospitals. The big deal here is the implicit criticism of Putin.

The letter was politically charged because it seemed to draw back the curtain, if only a little, on the carefully stage-managed public appearances of Mr. Putin on state television, often built around ostensibly official tasks.

While stopping short of directly blaming Mr. Putin for the lack of financing for the pediatric oncology wards, the letter suggested that the concert’s primary purpose was to showcase the prime minister’s singing talents rather than aid children with cancer.

Not at all surprisingly, “authorities have denied this was the case.”

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Entry filed under: International.

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