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Glenn Gould he is not. With heavy hands and an awkward baritone, Putin played American classic “Blueberry Hill” for a star-studded audience in St Petersburg on Friday night (in Russian, it sounds a bit more like “Blooberry Kheel”). Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner and Monica Bellucci were among those priveledged enough to see him do it live at a children’s charity event in Putin’s hometown. We’ll have to make do with the following video.
Putin’s been all over the place lately. Earlier this week, he staged a photo-op to present the name for his new dog, gifted to him in November by Bulgaria’s prime minister. Putin had invited Russians to suggest names via his website, and decided to go with Baffi (think “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), offered up by an awkward young boy.
He also managed to show off his new English skills, delivering a thank you speech to FIFA, which awarded Russia the 2018 World Cup. His accent has a bit of a German flourish, perhaps thanks to the time Putin spent serving as a KGB spy in East Germany. With Russia’s elections just a year and a half away, Putin better start brushing up on saying “Khyello, my name eez Prezeedent Pootin” smoothly.