Putin's Army: Bared Breasts

Putin's Army: Bared Breasts

How Russia's Premier is gaining popular "support" for his relection.

    

Vladimir Putin is a popular Russian, of that there is no disagreement. President from 2000-2008, he was able to hand-pick his successor, Demitry Medvedev, and continue to serve as Premier. Putin is credited with correcting the course of a nation in turmoil after nearly fifteen years of floundering from the call of Communism. Now, with Russia's elections approaching, many are advocating for Putin to run yet again for Russia's Presidency despite the fact that Putin has been accused of using Medvedev as a puppet for his own political power. However, you won't see the kinds of grassroots campaigning for Obama in 2012 that you're likely to see for Premier Putin. "Putin's Army", as they call themselves, is an internet movement of young women that show their support for the Russian Premier by ripping open their shirts. Take a look.

klcyPNIA698

     The student, Diana, is reportedly from The University of Moscow, where her and some friends have banded together to show their support of Mr. Putin by ripping things, most notably their t-shirts. "," she playfully proclaims just before ripping open her own shirt on which "I'll rip it for Putin" has been lovingly applied in lipstick. They even incentivize this viral campaign by offering a free iPad2 to the best "rip". Additionally, Diana and her friends have set up a page on a social networking site that functions like a Russian Facebook, encouraging young women to submit their "rips".

     Now, before this turns into a tirade on cheap tricks and objectification of women, there's an interesting cultural double-play involved. Russia has a notoriously and aggressively masculine culture, and the t-shirt, a la Hulk Hogan, has taken on cultural significance there. Most notably, it's a threatening gesture among men and an open invitation for conflict. The only American comparison I could make would be the way in which young men take off their shirts, letting their opponent know their "ready to go". However, these pro-Putin, cell-phone toting, shirt-ripping, lipstick-linguists are not just promoting women baring all in support of their Premier. They're actually promoting a bit of women's liberation at the same time, donning a commonly aggressive move by a male-dominated society as their own. "I'll rip for Putin" is not only an intention to shred their garments, according to Moscow Times but an open invitation for a fight; one they're evidently willing to have with anyone that doesn't like their "worthy politician and great man."

     This is not the first time that Vladimir Putin has had a very public display of young women's affection. Last year the Premier was given a calendar of provocative photos from young women in the University of Moscow Exchange, lounging in lingerie and bikinis with text bubbles that said things like "Let's go for a third time" (as in presidential term) and "I love Vladimir Putin". It's not unthinkable that Putin will run again, as there is no Russian equivalent to the U.S. presidential term limit and he has overwhelming popular support (even outside of Moscow's college campuses). However, it remains to be seen whether this particular brand of popular "support" help his credibility among the Kremlin's political circles and a largely Orthodox Christian population; though I'm sure the little gold crosses hanging above the girls' cleavage helped a little.