- The official 2017 Vladimir Putin calendar has gone on sale in Russian shops
- It contains photographs of the Kremlin leader in various macho poses
- But there is also a shot of him with a kitten, which looks keen to get away
- Putin writes sincerely: ‘Russia is a peace-loving, self-sufficient country…’
- But he also says: ‘If we are threatened we are prepared to use weapons’
Shops all over Russia are preparing themselves for the hottest consumer item this Christmas – the official Vladimir Putin 2017 calendar.
The calendar is a mixture of the Russian leader as a cuddly and affable chap – Putin with a kitten, a crane and a child – and as the Kremlin strongman.
He is pictured riding a horse, flying a deltaplane and in the cockpit of a Russian fighter jet.
The calendar (pictured) paints a picture of the Russian leader of a man with a warm and cuddly side but one who has a spine of steel
While the 2016 calendar had an image of Putin with a puppy, this year has him holding a kitten, which seems desperately keen to get away
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT NOVEMBER 1917?
November 1917 will be a significant date in the Russian calendar.
November 7 will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
The communist Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, took control of the country eight months after the Tsar has been overthrown.
November 7 was a national holiday until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. With the demise of communism it was no longer celebrated.
It was known as the October Revolution because Russia at the time used the Julian, rather than the Gregorian calendar which was 13 days ahead.
Some of the pictures could have been mistaken for the calendar of former Soviet leaders Joseph Stalin or Leonid Brezhnev.
In August he is pictured on a combine harvester talking about the wheat harvest and stressing the importance of bread to the Russian people.
The text below the fighter pilot picture in November reads: ‘The aim is to create the kind of army which will guarantee Russia’s sovereignty, the respect of her partners and a stable peace.’
At the end of the year, looking ahead to 2018 – when Russia will host the World Cup – is a picture of Putin looking a bit like a Russian mafia godfather.
The text with the photograph may be of special interest to people in Ukraine, Syria and whoever takes up office in the White House in January.
In January 2017 – when a new US President is inaugurated – President Putin is shown lighting candles in a Russian Orthodox Church, a staple in post-Soviet Kremlin calendars
Another image shows him in military gear sitting in the bough of a tree, looking every inch the Russian hardman
But the next minute he is the warm and kindly President who you would happily let pick your children up while out skiing
It says: ‘Russia is a peace-loving and a self-sufficient country. We do not need other people’s territories, he says. We don’t need other people’s natural resources. But if we are threatened we are prepared to use weapons to guarantee our security.’
Last year CNN reported that the 2016 calendar showed a picture of President Putin cuddling a fluffy puppy, with the words: ‘Dogs and I have very warm feelings for one another.’
Don’t tell the kitten.
This image shows the President with veterans of World War Two, or as it is known in Russia, the Great Patriotic War