Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be taking every opportunity to transform his personal brand into Superhero status in a bid to strengthen Russia's global power.
According to the Daily Beast
, the Russian premier has made a number of conspicuous attempts to demonstrate he's the ultimate man, appearing shirtless on horseback expeditions, and refusing to discredit reports that he has rescued people from tigers.
It would appear he has also had some help from admirers. In 2002, a Russian pop duo "Singing Together" released a pop song that pined for a "boyfriend like Putin."
Meanwhile, a video for a song entitled "A Man Like Putin" also features footage of Putin taking out an opponent in judo and standing with the Queen of England, interspersed with a Putin look-alike calling up then-President Bush and presumably engaging in important diplomatic conversations, according to the Daily Beast.
Putin has since made it has anthem and even played it at rallies.
It has been noted that Putin's latest attempts to flex his muscles have been on show at the Sochi Winter Olympics where he has become significantly and personally more identified with the Games than host nation leaders in the past, according to the Daily Beast.
As the country faces ongoing social and economic challenges, such as widespread alcoholism and fears about the direction of its oil-reliant economy, it appears Putin is capitalizing on the opportunity to position himself as an icon of stability, virtue, and protection, the Daily Beast notes.
"It's all intended to convey the impression of Putin as a kind of Superman, and insofar as he is very far from that, it is all very artificially staged," David Satter, Russia scholar and former Financial Times Moscow correspondent, told the Daily Beast.
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