Rappers chant: “Respect, Vladimir Vladimirovich”
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin shows mild amusement as he appears on a music TV channel show alongside local rappers.
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Putin, wearing a not-so hip-hop turtleneck sweater and jacket, went on stage to present awards to participants in “Battle for Respect”, a hip-hop music contest run by Muz TV, a Russian rival to MTV.
Putin’s carefully orchestrated image also includes bare-chested photos on fishing trips in Siberia, appearances with rare animals such as Siberian tigers, leopards and beluga whales and encounters with tough-guy groups like bikers.