A Russian artist, Konstantin Altunin, who painted images of President Vladmir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev enjoying hair-stroking moments of intimacy while attired in lady's underwear has fled Russia after authorities seized the art and shut down his exhibition at a St. Petersburg museum.
Fearing further retaliation under the Kremlin's violent crackdown on LGBT people and "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," the artist is apparently seeking political asylum in France.
It's one of 4 paintings that have been on display for two weeks. Konstantin's abrupt departure comes as no big surprise since there can be no hotter buttons to push with Vladimir Putin, both depicting him as gay and mocking his authority. Gallery owner Alexander Donksoy insists the seizure was illegal and noted that the police did not even give him a receipt for petty cash seized from the gallery, which remains shut down.
Putin is prone to public -- and often shirtless -- outings depicting himself as a hunter and outsdoorman, but his he-man hobbies have led to some alternative interpretations.
Much media comment has recently focused on the homoerotic themes apparent in the stuntsof which the President seems fond. They include horseback riding, diving and any excuse to go shirtless. And his affection for Dmitry is almost palpable.
Lustralboy just says "Aww". And, now there's even a video to address Vladimir directly, courtesy of Puckbuddys, a site for hockey players and the guys who love them. Get the feeling this story is developing its own momentum?
Over to you, Vladimir!
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