Cossacks Install Monument of Putin as Roman Emperor Near St. Petersburg
19 May, 2015
Vladimir Putin has been described as a “czar” by fans and critics alike, but a group of Cossacks in St. Petersburg have gone a step further, erecting a statue of Putin in the form of a Roman emperor, ABC reports.
The 20-centimeter [7.9-inch] bust, erected by a group that supports Putin, depicts the Russian leader, head turned imperiously, wearing Roman laurels, armor and a cloak.
“In this image is the symbol of our Russian democracy,” Andrei Polyakov, who heads the
Irbis Orthodox Union of Cossacks, which commissioned the statue for their new headquarters outside St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown, told Russian media.
“Presidents come and go, but an emperor as a symbol is, I think, probably what Russia needs,” Polyakov told Reuters.
Even in a country where Putin is regularly feted as an embodiment of Russian strength and has been called a “gift of God” by the head of the Orthodox Church, the bust reflects how the cult around the Russian leader has reached new heights here as he rides a high of popular nationalism following his annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year, the ABC reports.