Home Featured From Russia without love. Vladimir Putin doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – POLITICO
From Russia without love. Vladimir Putin doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – POLITICO

From Russia without love. Vladimir Putin doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – POLITICO

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And it seems he’s not alone in Russia, as just 26 percent of people said they were celebrating Valentine’s Day last year, according to state pollster VTsIOM. That figure was down from half the population in the 2000s. 

Putin once disclosed that he received Valentine’s Day congratulations from his then-wife, Liudmila, in 2008, but she didn’t send him a Valentine’s card, he complained at the time.  

Officially, the Russian president has been single since his divorce from Liudmila in 2014 after a 30-year marriage. “I first need to give away my ex-wife Lyudmila Alexandrovna in marriage, then I’ll think about myself,” Putin said in 2014. Liudmila married Russian entrepreneur Artur Ocheretny in 2015.

Although some Russian politicians continue to decry Valentine’s Day as a Western imposition, Putin does receive messages of love.

In Tatarstan on Wednesday, nine white cars bearing the phrase: “We love Putin,” spelled out in letters taped to their roofs, drove along a local highway. And in Vologda, authorities screened an interview with Putin by U.S. pundit Tucker Carlson for free in a local cinema, albeit without linking it to the romantic holiday. 

Sergey Goryashko is hosted at POLITICO under the EU-funded EU4FreeMedia residency program.

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