Vladimir Putin unmasked as die-hard Beatles fan as favourite song exposed
Former KGB spy Vladimir Putin has gone to great lengths to cultivate his ‘hard man’ image – and regularly appears unafraid to flaunt his masculinity. Even when a series of half-naked holiday snaps were released by the Kremlin, he proudly proclaimed that he felt “no need to hide”. The photographs showing him fishing and riding a horse without a top on were turned into memes and parodied – but the Russian President seemed completely unfazed. His steel seemed unflappable. But could Mr Putin’s love for British boy band The Beatles leave him a little redder in the face?
Vladimir Putin has been outed as a long-term fan of the Fab Four.
While his favourite song is now known, he is yet to state his favourite Beatle out of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
In two interviews unearthed by Express.co.uk, it was not only confirmed that he “loves” the lads from Liverpool but also that he has a preferred hit.
The first occurred when world-renowned photographer Platon visited the Russian leader to picture him after he was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 2007.
Platon took some now-infamous snaps of Mr Putin at his private resort in the “middle of a dark gothic forest” just outside of Moscow.
He told the Guardian in a 2009 interview that as he arrived at the location in a BMW there were “snipers everywhere and three or four feet of snow”.
Platon described the scenes as similar to something from a “Cold War movie” and waited for eight and a half hours for an audience with Mr Putin.
In such a foreboding scene, such amusing insights into the leader’s musical taste could never have been expected.
Platon believes the powerful figure took pity on him – with Mr Putin even allowing him to shake his hand and put his arm around him multiple times during the shoot.
The photographer later discovered that at that time it was “illegal to touch Putin past the wrist”.
Despite this, nothing was made of the faux pas and Platon added: “He was cool with that, though. He was fine”
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Later while making small-talk to try to put his subject at ease, Platon said: “I’m a big Beatles fan. Are you?”
“I wanted to break down the formality of the situation, and suddenly he started speaking perfect English.
“‘I love the Beatles!’ he said. I asked him what his favourite song was, and he said ‘Yesterday.’”
The unusual revelation was supported in February 2009 after a British ABBA tribute band claimed to have played for Mr Putin near the shores of Lake Valdai.
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Rod Stephen founder of the act ‘Bjorn Again’ told UK newspapers that his band had performed for Mr Putin and eight friends at a theatre in a holiday resort.
He claimed that they had been paid £20,000 for the show and that the leader had a “great time” watching from the comfort of a sofa covered in a lace curtain.
But to Mr Stephen’s shock, the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov would go on to deny the allegations in a statement to The Times.
He explained that Mr Putin would have been “too busy to attend” the concert.
Mr Peskov claimed that he was “sorry to disappoint” the cover band but the Russian leader was not in attendance at their show.
The spokesperson said: “I don’t know who their audience consisted of, but Vladimir Putin was not one of them.
“He was actually working in his office that Thursday evening, meeting members of the Cabinet.”
Mr Peskov added: “Mr Putin is more of a Beatles fan than an Abba one, as you can see if you read an interview by Andrew Lloyd Webber with Mr Putin on our website.”
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