Moscow has clarified that placing Vladimir Putin’s portrait in state buildings is not mandatory, after police were called when a councilor tried to replace the President’s photo with a portrait of legendary poet Alexander Pushkin.
On Wednesday, at a meeting of Saint Petersburg’s City Council, local politician Nikita Yuferev, a councilor from the liberal opposition party Yabloko, removed a portrait of Putin from the wall. Yuferev had previously substituted the photo with a picture of the legendary poet, but it had been taken down, and the president returned. In anger, the politician ripped the Russian leader's image into pieces.
According to Ekaterina Kuznetsova, the chairperson of Yabloko in St Petersburg, the police were called by an employee of the local administration. However, there is no law that the room must be adorned with a photo of Putin.
“This is not regulated in any way. There are no instructions in this regard, and there can’t be,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained, speaking to Kommersant FM. “Of course. It’s unlikely that’d we’d like the fact that someone tore up a photo of Putin.”
In Peskov’s opinion, a compromise would be to hang photos of both Putin and Pushkin, and quickly move on to other important tasks.
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