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November 13, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — A fluffy puppy was added to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s menagerie after talks with Bulgarian Premier Boyko Borisov on Saturday in Sofia.
Borisov gave Russia’s “man of action” a Bulgarian Karakachan puppy after sealing a gas deal. Putin accepted the new family member, hugging it close to his chest and kissing it on its nose.
A Siberian tiger cub was given to Putin for his 56th birthday two years ago. The young tigress, named Mashenka, lives in a zoo.
His most famous pet, however, still remains his Labrador Connie, given to him when he was president by Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu on New Year’s Eve in 2001. Some people say this is the reason why Shoigu is still in his job.
He is also the owner of a cat (who is reported to be living within the Kremlin walls), two poodles, one she-goat and her offspring given by former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov (some people say it’s the reason why he lost his job).
The Russian premier, though, seems to like horses most of all: shots of a horse-riding Rambo-like Putin emerge in media outlets every now and again.
Last but not least, the former KGB agent is also in possession of two rare creatures: a Persian gazelle given to him by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2002 and named Vlada after Putin; and a crystal crocodile given by former Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin in the same year.
“The crocodile is the only animal that doesn’t back off,” Voronin famously said.
MOSCOW, November 13