The BBC reports that Muscovites — and, for some reason, Mickey Rourke — lined up for hours at "one of Russia's most expensive stores" to purchase T-shirts with Putin's picture on them. The tees come in 15 different designs, which, not surprisingly, portray Putin in the same kind heroic macho-man set-ups as his many fake photo-ops.
Here's Putin looking stoic in military uniform. Here's Putin riding a horse. Here's one that, creepily, says "I can read your thoughts" (better than the NSA reading your emails, we guess).
One particularly tasteless T-shirt shows Putin in Hunter S. Thompson mode, sporting a Hawaiian shirt and translucent sunglasses and holding a tropical drink beneath the words "Greetings From Crimea." Really? Too soon, guys.
The T-shirts' manufacturer told BBC reporters that over 7,000 Putin tees were sold in one day. And yet, the crowd shown on the video looked barely a hundred strong, and was noticeably without the usual jostling and shoving that accompanies, say, your average H&M designer collab debut.
Click over to BBC for the full, and fully puzzling, video (in case you were wondering, Mickey Rourke deems Putin "a real gentleman, regular sort of guy" who makes good eye contact. We're not saying this is a totally staged bit of image-boosting agitprop for the controversial Russian leader. We're just saying this sets off our BS detectors almost as much as that time he hugged a Polar bear. (BBC)