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article imageRussia's President Vladimir Putin turns 60

By Layne Weiss     Oct 8, 2012 in World
Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin turned 60 Sunday. While Kremlin officials claimed he didn't want a huge party or any fanfare, some of the president's supporters wanted to show Putin just how much they respect and adore him.
The Kremlin- friendly television channel NTV praised the president so extremely, it almost seemed as if they were mocking him, The AP reports. Some of Putin's opponents chose to use the occasion to make fun of him.
According to Reuters, some of Putin's supporters planted his portrait on a mountain peak in celebration of his birthday. Some protestors, however, joked that it was time he retire.
If Putin seeks and wins a fourth term as President, he could surpass Soviet Union leader Leonid Breznhev's 18-year run in power, which ended in 1982 due to his death.
Anti-Putin activists will not only fight against him winning a fourth term, they also argue that he won his third term as a result of a rig, The Telegraph reports.
Original plans for an anti-Putin March were scrapped, and instead his protestors had a little party of their own to celebrate the President's 60th, but this was a "Let's send Grandpa into retirement" party. "Guests" were asked to bring gifts fitting for someone going into retirement such as a pipe or reading glasses.
Some of Putin's supporters showed that he eats healthy, stays in shape, and is more than equipped for a fourth term as President, The AP reports.
An art exhibition called "Putin: The Most Kind-Hearted Man in the World" opened in Moscow to celebrate his birthday. The show features about a dozen paintings by artist Alexei Sergiyenko modeled after some of the President's proudest moments such as riding a horse bare chested and celebrating his 2012 election victory.
The head of Russia's Orthodox Church said Putin was a "real patriot," Reuters reports.
The President chose to spend his birthday relaxing with his family, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said according to The Telegraph.
President Putin's 60th birthday wasn't the only major event in Russia Sunday. October 7 also marked the sixth anniversary of the death of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Rather than celebrate Putin's birthday, some people gathered to commemorate Anna's death instead, euronews reports.
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