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SAINT-PETERSBURG: A “patriotic” fashion show, all for glory Russian President Vladimir Putinheld at St. Petersburg on Thursday evening, her outfit was inspired by an exhibition by a pro-My Kremlinentitled “President. A man with a soul full of kindness”.

Since Vladimir Putin came to power more than two decades ago, Russia has silenced nearly all dissenting voices, imprisoning or exiling its chief critics.

The campaign of repression expanded along with attacks on Ukraine.

On Thursday, the models paraded in St. Petersburg. Petersburg, the president’s hometown, wore t-shirts, shirts or pants decorated with stars, crowns and portraits of Vladimir Putin in bright colors, pop-art style.

Painter Alexei Sergienko, an admirer of the Russian strongman and whose work inspired the collection, explained that he chose to show the crown because he knew “that the president would be elected again and again.”

“So I painted this picture that said we will have Putin for a long time, forever,” he told AFP, on the sidelines of the parade.

This is not the artist’s first attempt. In addition to the exhibition “President. A man with a soul full of kindness” in 2012, he also created a two-meter-high gold relief representing himself for Vladimir Putin’s 65th birthday.

A “patriotic” collection was envisioned by the designers, according to a press release published on Alexeï Serguienko’s website.

Andrei Nechayev, a 48-year-old businessman who came to the parade with his family, said the clothes perfectly suited the image of the president, who he said was a “sporty and fashionable” leader.

Presidential elections are scheduled for March 2024. At the moment, Vladimir Putin has not officially announced his candidacy, but there is no doubt about his desire to remain in the Kremlin.

Since a revision of the constitution in 2020, he could theoretically remain in power until 2036. His spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, predicted in October that the president “has no competitors in Russia” and “cannot have competitors.”

Garfield Woolery

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