13 February 2012
Putin meets Russian celebrities ahead of polls
The Daily Star reported
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who is seeking a third Kremlin term, met on Tuesday with a galaxy of celebrities in an apparent bid to secure their endorsement ahead of March polls.
The prime minister, who already served two consecutive presidential terms between 2000 and 2008, extolled the achievements of his rule in front of prominent Russian cultural figures and athletes.
Among them were figure skating great Yevgeny Plushenko and Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov.
Putin told a packed convention hall that "we have leading positions in the world -- on the growth of gross domestic product, industrial growth and minimal inflation."
"We've done a lot, but there's more we have to do," he said in remarks posted on his campaign website putin2012.ru
Dressed in a crisp white shirt and black suit and with a microphone in his hand, he cracked jokes and sought to appear at ease despite the most acute legitimacy crisis of his 12-year rule, a series of mass protests.
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