MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin turns 66 on Sunday. "The president will spend this day together with his near and dear ones, and friends," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS.
Traditionally, on his birthday Putin receives greetings from other leaders by phone. Among the first foreign leaders who congratulated Putin on Sunday was Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Armen Sarkissian. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in a phone conversation wished Putin good health and success in his hard work for the benefit of Russia and its people.
Last year, Putin spent his birthday far away from Moscow, holding an urgent meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council in Sochi. In 2016, the Russian president did not hold any public events on that day. A year earlier, Putin took part in a match of the Night Hockey League, and in 2014 he officially took a day off and flew to the Siberian taiga to mark his birthday.
Birthday gifts to president
This year, President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik was one of the first leaders to congratulate Putin. Last week, during their meeting in Sochi he greeted Putin on the upcoming holiday, and presented him a badge with the flag of the country saying that this is "actually the Russian flag upside down."
A year ago, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow gave Putin a shepherd dog (locally known as Alabai) named Verny (Faithful).
Retail chains, restaurants, public organizations and citizens from around the world often hold various events to congratulate Putin on this day in a fancy way.
Last year, when Putin turned 65, German businessmen presented him a T-shirt with a German national team and a statuette with Soviet football star Lev Yashin. A restaurant in Washington D.C. offered visitors a special pizza named "Hot Like Putin." Another restaurant in New York honored Putin with a five-patty burger. The Europeans also congratulated the Russian leader: graffiti appeared on the streets in Paris and Berlin with congratulations.
Unusual events are also held across Russia. This year, the All-Russian People’s Front made "greetings from people" based on video messages sent by Russian citizens. The organization’s youth branch will hold an event called "A postcard for the president," collecting messages for Putin written by Russians.