Oct. 7, 2014, is Russian President Vladimir Putin's 62nd birthday.
On Monday, his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced that the Russian president planned to escape from Moscow to celebrate the day. "He will fly over to Siberia, to the Siberian taiga, 300-400 kilometers away from the nearest town or village, where he will relax on his birthday," Peksov said, according to Ria Novosti.
Over the past year, Putin may have become a pariah in the West, but in Russia his popularity is near record highs. To celebrate, one mega-fan organized a one-night-only exhibit on the eve of Putin's birthday. It featured images of Putin as Hercules, or holding the weight of the world on his shoulders.
You can see a tour of the artwork (in Russian) in this video:
Mikhail Antonov, a Moscow-based politics student, is the organizer of the event. He runs a popular Facebook page devoted to Putin that has over 260,000 likes. The page paints Putin as a hero and an icon, with meme-related posts:
Antonov says that he organized the show to counter Putin's sometimes negative image. “We’re forming a different image of Putin because the western media constantly criticizes him, and our media occasionally attacks him as well,” he told the Guardian. “But here we see him completing these heroic deeds. We see that the interpretation of these events is not so categorical.”
You can see more photos from the exhibit below: