Russian Babes do Putin

Oleg Kozlovsky, writing on the Huffington Post:

As Vladimir Putin is apparently preparing to return to the Presidential seat in 2012, PR campaign in his support is gaining strength sometimes almost reaching the level of cult of personality. On October 6, a day before Putin’s 59th birthday, he got an unusual gift from several female students of Moscow State University’s Department of Journalism. Twelve soon-to-be journalists in sexy lingerie posed for a calendar entitled “Happy Birthday, Mr. Putin!” Next to their smiling photos were put slogans like “How About a Third Time?”, “Who Else If Not You?”, “You Are Only Getting Better with Years” etc. Names of the girls and their department were mentioned at every page.
2010-10-07-nashisty0.jpg 2010-10-07-protest0.jpg
Top: cover of the original calendar saying “Vladimir Vladimirovich, We Love You!”
Bottom: remake by Zhurfak students, saying “Vladimir Vladimirovich, We Have a Few Questions For You.”

Make no mistake, it wasn’t a joke or a spontaneous burst of patriotism of a few not-so-smart girls.

The information was first published at the blog of Nashi Spokesperson Kristing Potupchik. It is also said that the people who organized the whole thing, Vladimir Tabak and Maksim Perlin, are connected with the government. The former one is an employee at the Federal Agency for Youth Policy (whose head, the infamous Vasily Yakemenko, was a long-time leader of the same Nashi); the latter one works for government-controlled Website. According to Potupchik, 50,000 copies of the calendar are already on sale in Moscow malls.

2010-10-07-nashisty2.jpg 2010-10-07-protest1.jpg
Top: “How About a Third Time?”
Bottom: “When Will Khodorkovsky Be Released?”

What made this story even more controversial is that the girls are proud students or would-be students at the well-respected Department of Journalism of Moscow State University, or “Zhurfak.” Many prominent journalists were Zhurfak alumni including Anna Politkovskaya, who was assassinated on this very day four years ago, October 7, 2006. Her murderers have not been convicted — just like the killers of another Zhurfak student, Anastasia Baburova, who was shot dead on January 19, 2009. Who will replace Politkovskaya, Baburova and the others if Zhurfak students pose semi-naked for public servants instead of investigating their misconduct?

2010-10-07-nashisty5.jpg 2010-10-07-protest4.jpg
Top: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, I Love You!”
Bottom: “Is Freedom of Assembly Always and Everywhere?”

The answer soon followed. In 24 hours another calendar was published on the Web. Six different Zhurfak girls posed for it in black business suits, their faces thoughtful and serious, and their mouths shut and covered with scotch tape, symbolizing the lack of freedom of speech in Russia. Instead of asking Putin for a “third time,” they do what real journalists should do — ask him uncomfortable questions. “When Will [Former Oil Tycoon Turned Political Prisoner Mikhail] Khodorkovsky Be Released?”; “Is Freedom of Assembly Always and Everywhere?”; “Who Killed Anna Politkovskaya?”; “How Will Inflation Influence Corruption?”; “When Is The Next Terrorist Attack?”

2010-10-07-nashisty8.jpg 2010-10-07-protest5.jpg
Top: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, Who Else If Not You?”
Bottom: “Who Killed Anna Politkovskaya?”

With so many journalists killed, forced into exile or left jobless and even more turned to self-censorship, Russian political media are in obvious crisis. The Zhurfak controversy shows that the question at stake is the mission of journalism: is it about getting naked before public officials or is it about discovering and making public naked truth?

2010-10-07-nashisty9.jpg 2010-10-07-protest6.jpg
Top: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, You Are Only Getting Better with Years.”
Bottom: “When Is the Next Terrorist Attack?”

9 responses to “Russian Babes do Putin

  1. @”As Vladimir Putin is apparently preparing to return to the Presidential seat in 2012″

    The first phrase is just as much as you need to read to know what the article is all about.

    • That’s the essence of good writing! If only the same could be said about your “comment.”

      • Wrong as usual, team.

        When I read an article of more than one sentence, I expect to fine content that deserves any attention. Every word should have a meaning, every sentence be a message in itself.

        When one starting sentence tells about all the author has to say, still he continues to write 5 pages, this is not called a “good writing”. No, it’s called a “word diarrea”.

  2. Russian students create erotic calendar for Putin

    “You put out the forest fires, but I’m still burning,” says Miss March, referring to Putin’s piloting of a firefighting plane during the summer’s devastating wildfires.

    Read more:

  3. @“Who Killed Anna Politkovskaya?”

    (AFP) Posted Thursday October 7, 2010 – 9:40am

    Hundreds of people gathered in the Russian capital Thursday to commemorate journalist Anna Politkovskaya, accusing the regime of Vladimir Putin of having her murdered four years ago.

    • Also Wednesday, activists from Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International gathered near the Eiffel Tower in Paris to commemorate Politkovskaya. They held a giant French-language poster reading, “Russia, Freedom Murdered.”

  4. Personally, I’m a fan of Miss August (both the top and the bottom ones), but then again, these woman are Russian, with attractivenss implied. Kudos to the “few questions” girls, your quick responce is a testament to the fact that Russia is not the tyrannical underworld that the hyperventilating, frothing-at-the-mouth team at LR tries so fruitlessly to paint.

  5. It’s funny, but when I was a student, I remember that people from the Journalistics’ faculty of the MSU were definitely not among the brightest minds. It’s nice this generation makes something bright.

  6. It will be interesting to follow the careers of both groups of calendar girls. My guess that some of them will have attractive and well paid jobs soon after graduation and others will find themselves with boken bones in a prison cell.

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