Celebrations, protests on Putin’s 60th birthday

Celebrations, protests on Putin’s 60th birthday

Celebrations, protests on Putin’s 60th birthday

Putin sits in the cockpit of a Tupolev Tu-160 bomber jet at a military airport outside Moscow in this 2005 photo. AFP photo

Russian leader Vladimir Putin gave the world a peek at how he spends an average day in an interview aired on the politician’s 60th birthday.

A camera literally followed Putin everywhere, catching him lifting weights in the gym, swimming in a pool and eating breakfast. The camera kept rolling as the leader was driven to work and later flown on the president’s official airplane. The documentary-like interview, conducted by NTV, aired during prime time on Oct. 7.

The interview showed Putin heading to the gym early in the morning to begin his exercise program with several repetitions on each weight machine, Russia Today reported. He then swam 1,000 meters and followed his physically demanding workout with a nutritious breakfast.

On his way to the office, a presidential motorcade blocked Moscow roads and resulted in a large traffic jam, a regular occurrence when the Russian leader travels anywhere by car. In the interview Putin said he’s aware of the situation and feels bad for commuters.

Meanwhile, an exhibition dedicated to Putin, called “A Man of the Kindest Soul,” opened Oct. 7 at a Moscow art center to commemorate Putin’s date of birth. A poster that read: ‘Good that you came! Happy Birthday!’ was hung on a building in celebration of the leader’s birthday. However, Putin’s opposition made jabs at the president’s age, noting that he has reached the country’s official age for retirement, Agence France-Presse reported.

Opponents rally

One rally planned for the day was called “Let’s Send Grandpa to Retirement!” Feminist punk band Pussy Riot, three of whose members have been jailed for two years for staging a performance protesting his rule, said “Putin told our members about the ‘little two years.’” Meanwhile, a survey by independent pollster Levada this week showed that 20 percent of Russian women said they would like to marry Putin despite his age.