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Ideal spot for Putin fans

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 01:23

The President Cafe, filled with pictures of Vladimir Putin opens in Siberia, attracting patriots and Putin fans.

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ROUGHT CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: He might be 4,000 km (2,500 miles) away in Moscow, but just step into this eatery and you find the world of Vladimir Putin, with dozens of pictures of his life from childhood to the Kremlin. Black-and-white or in colour, amateur or professional, his image looks down on you from the walls of the entrance hall and escorts you right to the table. There's Putin as a schoolboy, Putin with his wife and Putin holding a newly born daughter, Putin the steely eyed KGB agent, Putin in a judo bout, Putin inspecting a submarine, and others of Putin. Want to pose with Russia's most popular man? No problem - his lifesize standup picture is waiting for your hug or handshake by the bar stand. Siberian locals give the President Cafe that opened last month two thumbs up. They say it's not as much about Putin as it is about patriotism. "All those KFCs, burgers are not ours, this food is not Russian. There are no Russian pelmeny places. Kebabs are everywhere. We miss our traditional food, that's why we like this place," cafe customer Evgeny Kushner said. Customer Alexander Dudkovsky agreed. "It's not about politics, the president here is presented as a person. He is respected as a man and not as a president. As a president he might have done things wrong. There is a general opinion about Putin as a real Russian man, Dudkovsky explained. On to the restrooms and there's another designer "surprise" - graffiti-daubed pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama and his German and British allies, complete with Obama's face on toilet paper. Toilet mats bear the colours of the U.S. flag. The pictures, which also include one of Ukraine's former pro-Western Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, are covered with hand-written Russian curses. Want to add your 'I-was-here' autograph? Just use the black marker pen on hand.

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Ideal spot for Putin fans

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 01:23